One veteran’s struggle to receive care at the Cincinnati VA

Veteran Bill Hatfield was sent outside the VA into a complex maze of red tape that left him waiting to get surgery for roughly a year-and-a-half.

This week on the podcast, we dive deep into a Scripps investigation of the Cincinnati VA hospital and claims from whistleblowers that cuts to services ordered by hospital leaders failed veterans who counted on the institution for crucial medical care.

Veterans like Bill Hatfield, who injured his spine in the jungles of Vietnam thanks to hauling 200-pound artillery shells, he says. More than 40 years later, when Hatfield needed surgery to relieve searing pain, the Cincinnati VA didn’t have a neurosurgeon who could treat him. Instead, he wound up getting bounced around in a bureaucratic maze for a year-and-a-half.

Here’s our take on showing you Hatfield’s journey, in two interactive visualizations.

First, check out this depiction of the dozens of medical visits, calls and other steps he had to make to finally get treatment. (Click “start” to begin.) And to see our full investigation, visit our partners at WCPO.

(Click or swipe through this animation to begin.)

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