Cut Off: Veterans hung up on, can't get through to VA hotline
Are veterans worth 10 minutes of our time? The ABC15 Investigators found the VA's own policy restricts its call center employees from spending more than 10 minutes on the phone with veterans and their families who call looking for help. Several former employees of the Phoenix call center decided to speak out in our stories after they had been fired for spending too much time on the phone with those who had served our country. After months of fighting for the records, we uncovered the failure at the root of much of the VA hotline's problems: 60 percent of veterans who called the national Benefits Hotline never got through to a representative. They were cut off, hung up on, or got only a busy signal. After our reporting, Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema took action in Washington, forcing the VA to report on its call center's blocked call rate and improve the issue.
Women Harmed by Essure Birth Control
We were one of the first to lend a voice to the thousands of women who say they experienced debilitating side effects after being implanted with the Essure birth control device. It's a story we have continued to follow. After our reporting, the FDA reviewed all of the complaints and clinical trial literature related to Essure, and Bayer, the device's manufacturer, added warnings to the products label.
Ford Escape: A Deadly Defect
After 17 year-old Saige Bloom died when her Ford Escape accelerated out of control in Payson, Arizona, we started asking questions. We found a defect under the car's hood that led the federal government to open an investigation. Shortly after, Ford recalled more than 700,000 Escapes and Mazda recalled another 200,000 Tributes. See a few of our stories below. I was Investigative Producer for this series of stories. We won the Peabody Award in 2012 for this investigation.
As a Carnegie Fellow at ABC News under Senior Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, I helped uncover the problem of immigrant children being systemically separated from their parents due to the expanding detention system in the United States. To read the story, click here.
Stateless in the Dominican Republic
As part of the Cronkite Borderlands Initiative, I travelled to the Dominican Republic to report on the Haitian immigrants who cross the border only to find their children will not receive citizenship in their new country. This is especially poignant when it comes to women who cross the border just to give birth. To read the full story, click here. A version of this story also appeared in The Washington Post. To read that version, click here.
Healthcare in Arpaio's Jails
For years, it was no secret that the healthcare system in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails was in critical condition. I profiled a woman who nearly died after she was arrested for one count of marijuana possession -- and highlighted the inadequate care documented in a series of lawsuits, studies and federal reports. To read the story, click here.