Part I of 2
The House Veterans Affairs committee reports that the troubled Miami VA hospital is so poorly managed that both the hospital director, Marry Berrocal and Nevin Weaver; regional director should be dismissed immediately. This report comes after the scandal two years ago that left thousands of patients exposed to HIV and other illnesses.
Capitol Hill on Wednesday reviewed Miami VA failed policy and procedures from 2009 and both the Republicans and Democrats collectively criticized the leadership at Miami Veterans hospital and recommended the immediate dismissal of the hospitals’ director, Mary Berrocal as well as the regional director, Nevin Weaver for “Gross Negligence!”
During the review the hospital was also sharply criticized for failing to notify nearly 2,500 veterans that they were given colonoscopies that were performed with unsanitary equipment. The revelation led to a congressional investigation and federal lawsuit, respectively.
“I am so saddened by what I have heard today, by the things that are going on at Miami VA medical center that are atrocious. I can only imagine how bad it must have been if you think it is moving in the right direction.” said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Pensacola, chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs committee.
However, William Schoenhard, a deputy undersecretary with the VA hospital, attempted to defend the hospital director, saying that he believes that “the leadership in place is in the best interest of the veterans” and went on to say that “she is turning the ship around but that it takes time.”
Schoenhard vote of confidence did not sway the committee and Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio moved forward with a recommendation to let Berrocal and Weaver go. The committee also inquired into the August death of 32-year old Catawaba Howard, an Air Force veteran killed by a Miami-Dade police officer.
Howard had originally come to Jackson Memorial Hospital with psychiatric problems but was transferred to the Veterans hospital when they determined that she was a veteran. Berrocal said there had been some confusion about whether Howard had been voluntary or involuntarily committee.
Subsequently, Howard left the facility and headed home. Ask by the committee if any disciplinary actions had taken place, Berrocal responded “the incident would be addressed at a later time through a performance-appraisal process.” In other words, when its time for the annual review.
Too be continued…