Thursday, April 7, 2016

KARE-11 investigative team wins IRE first-place award for "Invisible Wounds"

Congratulations to the KARE-11 investigative team, which has won an Investigative Reporters and Editors first-place broadcast award for their series on the VA health system,"Invisible Wounds."

From the IRE website:

“INVISIBLE WOUNDS,” KARE-11

A.J. Lagoe, Gary Knox, Bill Middeke, Steve Eckert , Stacey Nogy, Jane Helmke and Laura Stokes

Judges’ comments: KARE-11 television spent a year investigating how unqualified doctors denied treatment and benefits to patients with traumatic brain injury at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration hospital. In one case, the station found one veteran “was denied benefits after an exam done by a nurse practitioner” when a neurologist should have made that decision. In another case a veteran was denied care after not one but two unqualified doctors examined him. The VA’s own websites included false and misleading information about doctor’s licenses and certifications. The station told emotional stories built on a sturdy foundation of medical records provided by individual veterans, internal VA memos provided by sources, lawsuits, Office of Inspector General reports, Congressional testimony, state medical licensing records, medical board certification records and a mountain of documents produced by multiple FOIA requests. The VA responded to pressure from the reports and notified hundreds of vets that they were entitled to new exams. Members of Congress launched investigations and the VA’s Office of Inspector General opened a nationwide review. 

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