COMMENTS: Plaudits for Armen

Kudos was given to Armen Keteyian for last month's report on CBS into the suicide rate of military veterans, averaging 120-or-so each week, twice the rate of suicides among those in the population with no record of military service: "Members of Congress cited our Investigation as a national wake-up call." Both Keteyian and NBC's Jim Miklaszewski filed on House hearings into requiring the Veterans Administration to keep better records on the mental health of its patients.

At the same time on ABC's Critical Condition series, in-house physician Timothy Johnson was giving top marks to the VA for its state-of-the-art record keeping in hospitals: "Study after study puts the VA system at the very top for fewer medical errors, for effective treatments, for lower costs and for patient satisfaction." Johnson publicized author Phil Longman's book Best care Anywhere on how the "once maligned VA" transformed itself. Johnson's top line finding: "Socialized medicine may sound unAmerican but in fact it is exactly what we provide to our American heroes, more than 5m armed service veterans."

By the way, Johnson was featured twice on ABC. Besides his VA report, he commented on ABC's lead by Lisa Stark (no link) on lowered cholesterol levels. Both Johnson (no link) and CBS' in-house physician Jon LaPook gave most of the credit for our improved arteries to the statin class of medicines. Johnson called them "absolutely remarkable…predictably effective…very safe…I almost would dare use the words miracle drugs."


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