Officials are encouraging veterans with potential brain injuries who may have been misdiagnosed at the Tomah Veterans Administration Medical Center to return for a second exam.
The Veterans Administration issued a press release in the wake of a report from Minneapolis television station KARE that neurology exams conducted by a Tomah VA provider were incomplete or inaccurate. The examinations determine whether a veteran is eligible for compensation through the VA.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said up to 1,000 veterans at the Tomah VA may have been affected.
“We’re trying to get the word out,” Baldwin said. “It’s unclear how many were misdiagnosed. Getting in touch with them all will be a long process.”
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KARE identified the provider as Dr. Mary Jo Lanska. The Tomah VA said Thursday in a written statement that Lanska is no longer seeing patients.
“Dr. Lanska no longer conducts C&P exams and is not seeing patients at VA currently,” the statement said. “Our top priority remains the delivery of world-class care and timely access to benefits to the veterans we serve. Plans are in place to ensure that Dr. Lanska’s reassignment does not impact or interrupt this mission.”
Baldwin said her office was alerted to the issue by veterans and county veterans service officers.
“I began hearing from veterans in Wisconsin who had been denied benefits or misdiagnosed by the Tomah VA,” Baldwin said. “We noticed a pattern right away and have been fighting on behalf of these veterans ever since. My VA casework staff has been in near constant contact with the Tomah VA.”
Baldwin said she also brought the issue to the attention of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough. She and Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, sent a letter to McDonough in August 2022.
KARE reported the problem dates back a decade and that the VA offered new traumatic brain injury reviews to 25,000 veterans nationwide in 2016.
Any veteran who believes he or she is eligible for a re-examination at the Tomah VA should call 608-372-3971, ext. 64775.