By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, September 27, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) announced that the VA (Veterans Administration) has finally appointed a permanent Director to head the troubled Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS). Retired Air Force Colonel Linda Boyle will be the new director.
Congresswoman Roby said in an email to constituents, “This week will mark two years since former Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System Director James Talton was officially fired for mismanagement. As you may remember, he was the first VA senior manager fired for cause as a result of the VA wait time scandal. Now, two years later, the VA has finally named a permanent director to take the reins: Retired Air Force Col. Linda Boyle, a senior Veterans Affairs official in Alaska, has been announced as the new CAVHCS director.“
Rep. Roby said, “Dr. Boyle has been serving as the interim director of the Alaska VA Healthcare System since 2015. Prior to that, she was associate director for patient care services at the Alaska system, beginning in 2001. Before going to work for the VA, she was Medical Group Commander at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. She was active duty in the Air Force for 24 years and spent five years with the Air National Guard of Pennsylvania.”
The conservative congresswoman continued, “After two years without a permanent director, this is welcome news. The culture of any organization is set by leadership. No single action is more important to improving veterans care in Central Alabama than bringing in a permanent director who is committed to serving veterans and empowered to make the necessary changes. I look forward to meeting with Dr. Boyle in person soon and stand ready to help her be successful.”
The Montgomery Advertiser and Rep. Roby’s investigation turned up numerous instances of malfeasance, administrative neglect, and incompetence at CAVHCS. After being misled by Talton, Roby demanded that he be removed. The CAVHCS was one of the poorest performing VA systems in the country under his management. Veterans often waited months for care after first contacting the VA for services. VA managers were collecting bonuses for short wait times while secretly maintaining a second set of books with secret waiting lists. In Arizona, where the VA scandal was first exposed, a number of veterans died on those secret waiting lists while waiting to see a doctor.
Rep. Roby promised to continue to monitor CAVHCS closely. Roby said, “No matter what, I will not stop keeping the Central Alabama VA accountable for its responsibility to offer quality health care in a timely fashion to service connected veterans.”
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.