Veterans receiving superior care at Saginaw VA hospital

<p>The results of a federal audit at five veterans' medical treatment facilities in Michigan are showing just how long veterans are waiting for care.</p>

Coming home from overseas, this should be a veteranâ??s first stop.

"We were just young kids coming back and weâ??ll go drink a beer," said Elmer Lerette.

Years after his service in Vietnam, Elmer Lerette was searching for health care through the VA.

"I had to go see somebody things were going on. Things were happening and I had to see somebody," said Lerette.

The Saginaw VA average wait time is 22 days, thatâ??s the fastest time for a new patient in Michigan.

(stacie little, administrative support saginaw va)

"We want to get them an appointment as soon as they want to be seen and get their needs met," said Saginaw VA Administrative Support Chief Stacie Little.

So far in 2014 the Saginaw VA has started about 800 new claims for veterans. To meet those needs they're doing some growing of their own.

"We are constantly looking at our demand everyday to see what we have and we have added quite a few employees," said Saginaw VA Medical Center Director Peggy Kearns.

To keep veterans like Lerette moving quickly through the system Saginaw VA is also updating their facilities and using 9 remote clinics to bring VA care closer to veterans who like Larette, earned their benefits.

"The hospital is a lot better, a lot better,â?? said Lerette.

The Saginaw VA is also using a secure messaging system so veterans can do things like refill prescriptions without visiting the hospital.