Meet Paula Pedene, Phoenix VA Whistleblower

PRSA Hawaii is honored to host a special guest speaker, Paula Pedene, APR, for its July program. Paula is the chair of the PRSA Western District chapter and was one of the first Whistleblowers at the Phonix VA where in 2010, she collaborated with Dr. Sam Foote to expose funds mismanagement and a hostile work environment at the VA. Join PRSA Hawaii for a talk-story session with Paula, who will share a case study from her heroic experience as a whistleblower.
Seating is limited with registration available via Eventbrite only. RSVP by Monday, July 6. Lunch will be provided.
Featured Speaker

Paula Pedene, Pedene Public Relations

Paula Pedene was one of the first Whistleblowers at the Phoenix VA. In 2010, she collaborated with Dr. Sam Foote in exposing funds mismanagement and a hostile work environment. Their allegations were sustained by the Office of the Inspector General and others. After the director’s forced retirement, Pedene thought she could get back to the business of serving veterans, but unfortunately, there was a larger storm brewing. First, she had to face minor retaliation from the associate sirector who was upset with Pedene’s whistleblower disclosures, so he threatened her work in her field. Again, she had to "blow the whistle" and the associate director was later moved to a new position and summarily retired.

For one year following, Pedene sought relief from the devastation that hit the center’s award-winning public relations program. None came, and then in 2012, she found herself face-to-face with Director Sharon Helman, Associate Director Lance Robinson and others. This time, the senior leaders collaborated and unethically removed Pedene from her long-standing PAO position, placing her in the basement library. She helped discover the “Secret Wait List” and once again collaborated with Dr. Sam Foote with her personal plight, the wait time scandal, and other issues affecting VA and its care for our veterans. 

Prior to her whistleblower reprisal, Paula Pedene earned three PRSA Silver Anvils for VA in Institutional Programs, Reputation Management and Community Outreach.  She earned dozens of other national and local awards and was cited for having the best VA PR program nationwide. She is an Accredited Public Relations Practitioner (APR). 

The Office of Special Counsel intervened on her behalf and she is now a senior communications specialist with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She volunteers her time as chair of the PRSA Western District. Pedene has also established herself as the owner of her solo PR practice, Pedene Public Relations.  


Metered parking is available on surrounding streets. Affordable parking options also found at nearby municipal lots, including Harbor Court. 


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