Two Memphis VA Leaders Fired For ‘Failure To Lead And Act’

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Failure To Lead

VA Secretary David Shulkin laid waste to two leaders at Memphis VA for “failure to lead and act” consistent with agency requirements.

Memphis VA is among the worst rated VA medical facilities in the country with a score of one star out of five stars. A variety of surgical mishaps in the past two years no doubt contributed to the poor score.

Memphis VA Malpractice Problems

According to FieceHealthcare:

A veteran wound up having his leg amputated at a VA hospital after a previous procedure left plastic tubing in his artery. And that’s far from the first horror story to come out of the Memphis VA Medical Center.

The Memphis VA Medical Center scores only one out of five stars in the VA’s quality-of-care rankings, according to a USA Today article describing the facility’s shortcomings. A string of serious medical errors under investigation in 2016 included a perforated colon during a colonoscopy and a biopsy that had to be redone after the facility mishandled a tissue sample.

In the latest incident, a diabetic veteran wound up with 10 inches of plastic tubing embedded in an artery in his leg after VA doctors apparently failed to remove the protective cover from a catheter before inserting it. Surgeons found the tubing more than three weeks later when they amputated the leg, according to the article.

Leaders linked to the poor surgical outcomes have now hit the road after being terminated by Secretary Shulkin. One is Susan Calhoun, the former director of anesthesiology. The other is Darryl Weiman, former head of surgery.

Now, an unusual twist here is that Dr. Weiman is both a surgeon and a lawyer who lectures frequently against malpractice and other legal hang-ups surgeons frequently run into. He also writes about Obamacare and the state of health care in the US.

See: Weiman Website And Book

See: Weiman Affordable Care Act Blog

Failure To Lead And Act

About the termination for failure to lead and act:

VA officials confirmed that Susan Calhoun, former director of the hospital’s anesthesiology department, and Darryl Weiman, former head of surgery, were fired Friday by Director David Dunning for “failure to lead and act.”

Both Calhoun and Weiman had been temporarily reassigned during an investigation, which is now complete, the VA said. Weiman was a staff surgeon and Calhoun was a staff anesthesiologist while the investigation had been ongoing.

….

Calhoun’s attorney, Kevin Owen, told the USA TODAY NETWORK that claims made by Dunning about Calhoun’s “performance and professionalism” were false and the decision to fire Calhoun will ultimately be even more harmful to the veterans who use the hospital.

“Unfortunately Director Dunning is more interested in reporting a body count of employees he fired in the name of reform than actually improving the Memphis VA Medical Center,” Owen said.

How is that for a first? I have never heard of a VA leader getting canned for not leading, but I’d say it’s a good start.

What do you think about the Weiman termination? I would be a dollar there is more to this story that merely firing someone for being a bad boss.

Source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2017/10/30/memphis-va-fires-2-top-doctors-wake-investigation/813103001/

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Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I’m going to have to reread all of the information Ben put on here today. Only, the following statement comes to mind!
Maybe “IF” VA were to hire “Top Grade professional healthcare providers”, instead of the “bottom feeders of the healthcare profession”, there wouldn’t need to be people FIRED!

namnibor
namnibor

The problem is, the VA has highly craptastic medical and management doing the HIRING and they will do as a pile of shit does on the sidewalk on a warm day: attract all the blow-flies and produce even more maggots and blow flies. Again, one turd always leads to another at the VA and the VA requires a complete enema, which means unfortunately, flushing the good with the bad and starting over. Bad shit corrupts good shit absolutely.

EATSHITVA .COM
VA DEATHCARE ONE BIG BIG BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET CONGRESS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL FLUSH THIS VA DC HQ RAW SEWAGE DOWN THE TOLIT ASP VA DEATHCARE BEYOND REPAIR VA DC HQ YO WILL EAT YOUR RAW SEWAGE SOON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
EATSHITVA .COM

AMEN BRO VA DEATHCARE TOTAL RAW SEWAGE

Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt

majority of them work for beer money and the rest are unable to get employment in the public workforce.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
“Memphis VA whistleblower fired a day before Trump signed bill protecting whistleblowers” Jake Lowary, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Published 2:45 p.m. CT June 26, 2017 “http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/26/memphis-va-whistleblower-fired-day-before-trump-signed-bill-protecting-whistleblowers/428820001/” “Just a day before President Donald Trump signed into law protections for whistleblowers at Veterans Affairs facilities around the country, the whistleblower at the Memphis VA facility was handed a termination letter. The June 22 letter says Sean Higgins had showed “disruptive behavior” and used profanity in the workplace. Higgins said the move is the product of retaliation from upper-level administrators whom he had accused of unethical behavior.” “Higgins’ time at the VA… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“In pushing the legislation, VA Secretary David Shulkin more than once used the case of an employee at the Memphis facility as an example of why the bill was necessary. Brittney Lowe, an interior decorator employed at the Memphis VA, returned to work after serving a 60-day jail sentence for a third DUI conviction”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
“Memphis VA disputes claim that worker was paid during 60-day jail sentence” Jake Lowary, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseePublished 12:03 p.m. CT May 18, 2017 “http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/05/18/memphis-va-worker-paid-using-donated-leave-while-serving-jail-sentence/329885001/” “Brittney Lowe, 32, of Southaven, Miss., was on paid administrative leave, but was using donated leave time, according to Memphis VA whistleblower Sean Higgins.” “Higgins said Lowe is an interior designer at the facility, responsible for procuring new furniture and other office supplies needed in the hospital. Higgins said the facility is in the process of hiring another employee to drive vehicles that Lowe would normally drive as part of her work duties. “How… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

One could argue that the VA places much more emphasis on their recruitment of their army of interior designers than the very hired hacks to do the basics of mission: Assist Veterans. THAT’s why 3x DUI was even tolerated; interior designers are also the VA’s Disruptive Committee. Be careful, they hide in the cleverly disguised color-changing walls and furniture.

Devil Dog
Devil Dog

I am Lean Mean Machine Marine always be a Marine i am Learning something…Thanks

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2duz_H0jvI&index=29&list=PL0054CAD1367AFC37”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
“Memphis VA gets third interim director” Kevin McKenzie, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Published 2:03 p.m. CT Feb. 17, 2017 “http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2017/02/17/memphis-va-gets-third-interim-director/98049328/” “An associate medical director from the Veterans Affairs medical center in Lexington, Kentucky, has been named the third interim director since last February for the Memphis VA Medical Center. James E. Belmont on Thursday became interim director for the Memphis center, on loan from the Lexington medical center where he has been associate medical center director since 2013, according to VA officials. Belmont relieves David Wood, who arrived in October on loan as director of the VA medical center… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
Looks like VISN leadership is failing to lead and act in hiring a competent director there. From what you describe, they are sending Associate Directors from around the country on TDY to Memphis. Likely test driving them to see whether they do any good and can clean up the mess, or if they even want the job once they get there. It sure as hell cannot be because they are taking time vetting a new director before they hire them. Their current crop of directors shows they don’t do much vetting at all other than whether they can keep their… Read more »
Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt

She is a decorator and alcohol keeps her creative 🙂

Underwater basket weaver specialist
Underwater basket weaver specialist

A nurse executive at the VA hospital in Virginia got detailed to central office after her multiple dui convictions and she lost her drivers license for a year. She couldnt drive to central office either so she got to “work” from her house for a year analyzing nurse staffing levels. Her temp replacement had his housing paid for and meals too. If I can’t make it to work, I’d get fired.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Since she was sent to VACO, it means she was ordered there for a detail. VA managers should be able to do this with any employee who screws up, but they don’t, likely because so many screw up daily.

Do a search on directed reassignment. VA management can also do that, but they don’t. They leave the incompetents where they are to continue screwing up.

91Veteran
91Veteran

One could say the director there failed to act and lead. Same with the directors supervisor.

namnibor
namnibor

“[… The other is Darryl Weiman, former head of surgery….Now, an unusual twist here is that Dr. Weiman is both a surgeon and a lawyer who lectures frequently against malpractice and other legal hang-ups surgeons frequently run into…]”

That “failure to lead” was obviously taken out of context and the word “lead” is actually the poisonous metallic substance. Dr. Weiman failed to kill enough Veterans with his surgical lead pipe and was not *quite* evil enough for the VA.

namnibor
namnibor

Dr. Weiman being both a Dr. and an attorney makes him a utilitarian oxymoron and liability to the VA. WHO KNEW you could be such a lackadaisical asshole to get fired from the VA? HE WILL BE BACK…whack-a-mole game is on…wait for it…

namnibor
namnibor

Dr. Weiman: Bad shit corrupts good shit absolutely. (one turd leads to another philosophy of thought)

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

With all the moles in the VA whack-a-mole board game and their propensity to continuously prairie dog out the backsides of the VA never being fully removed. It is the VA’s form of human resource management via Fecal Microbiota Transplant.

In laymen’s terms it is hiding the shit managers before everyone smells them. A better use of the VA budget would be to just pull the handle and throw some water on that shit by flushing it out of the system.

namnibor
namnibor

Problem is: these persistent floaters in the VA porcelain bowl also have an extreme thixotropic ability to adhere to the very porcelain surface in-spite of water. You know the type, it even sticks to the toilet brush…as it also goes for VA Whack A Mole (WHAM).

windguy
windguy
Don’t be mocking fecal transplants. Pig Pharma is in a race to patent it. There’s already a pill you can get instead of a $20,000 surgery. It’s only being allowed here in the US for C Difficile but the Euros are already using it for Crohn/IBS, and of interest to myself – arthropathies. Reset the gut – reset inflammatory responses. I, for one am looking forward to eating shit. If need be, I’ll accede to someone shoving it up my ass (yes – unconscious). I’m on a list for a University trial. Anything to get off the immune supressant.
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

The VA has been doing Fecal Transplants of years as a by product of their colonoscopy training program.

“VA: 16 Patients From Clinics Infected”
“https://www.cbsnews.com/news/va-16-patients-from-clinics-infected/”

“Buffalo VA medical center health alert”
“http://www.wgrz.com/news/buffalo-va-medical-center-health-alert/464918325”
“BUFFALO, N.Y. – Instruments used in 526 colonoscopies at the Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center may not have been properly sanitized.”

“VA hospital may have infected 1,800 veterans with HIV”
“http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/30/va.hospital.hiv/index.html”

windguy
windguy

moral of the story – wait for the pill….

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Seymore and namnibor, The problem I see within VA is their hiring practices of “…only hiring friends and family members!” This has been an ongoing practice since WHO knows when! PLUS, WTF does the VA need with “interior designers”? They are, more likely than NOT, responsible for millions of taxpayers monies being spent on useless objects; ie; Color changing wall paint. Leather couches and chairs in waiting rooms, etc., etc.! Remember when that Postmaster General in Illinois was caught years ago, redecorating her office, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars? After which, she was FIRED! If course, she never paid… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

A new VA medical outsourced contract will appear in near future and it will be sent oodles of Choice referrals by name of the “Candyman Group Practice” of Houlihan, Calhoun, & Weiman, L.L.P., Inc., serving Tomah AND Phoenix Veterans Choice Crow. Wait for it…

Laura Fino
Laura Fino
Elf, You are right on! I am in a major battle with the Indianapolis Fiduciary Hub. I am appalled at the corruption, misconduct, and fraudulent behaviors going on in this hub. I am the mother of a combat wounded, Purple Heart recipient. I was appointed as his fiduciary until a mistake was made and instead of taking accountability, a cover up of their mistake began and continues. They removed me and appointed a new fiduciary who has not paid my son’s expenses, has never returned a call or even met my son but gets it together to cut herself a… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

The entire VA Appointed Fiduciary Program is sure to have more than one rabid chipmunk in the woodpile and I am just betting that oodles of VSO’s in different funny hats get these appointees as cherries on top…but that’s just a guess…The VA cannot fucking manage their own shit…appoint those fucks a fiduciary.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Laura,
You might want to take pen in hand and write the President, Both houses of Congress, Judiciary committee, Secretary of VA and the Veterans committee!
Even send a letter to Ben Krause!
Insure all letters, at the bottom, have “C/C”!
Which stands for “Closed Copy”!
Two things though. Be expecting a back lash from the VA! And, possibly even a “visit” from them!
IF your really serious, write as many people in government agencies as possible!

Laura Fino
Laura Fino
I got the pen! Thanks so much for this information. It will augment what I am doing which is keeping records, phone calls, etc. I try to use emails for documentation. You probably think I’m just another mother with a story. I am another with a story but it hasn’t ended by a long shot! I am one pissed off mother on a mission! Since I am a retired nurse I have all day every day to work on bringing these corrupt, disrespectful, dishonest individuals down. Actually, it’s starting to work, at least making a few miserable. If someone crosses… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Laura,
Didn’t you say your son was awarded the “Purple Heart”?
The “Purple Heart Society” is, from my understanding is a great organization! From what’s being said about them you might want to contact them over this issue.
I don’t know IF they can help, yet, it’s worth it though!

91Veteran
91Veteran
Laura, you should request those financial records showing they paid you the retroactive pay. What are they going to do? Deny it was paid? You should also send the Privacy Officer a FOIA request for documentation as to why you were removed. They either provide them, or lie about it and say no record exists. Either way, you create an embarrassing paper trail for them. You can simply email them they request. If I understand your comment correctly, are you saying the fiduciary assigned to your son was a lawyer? If so, and she refused to pay your son’s expenses… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
In addition to other suggestions Laura, if you have Facebook, you should search for different veterans groups there and ask for help. Media sometimes view those posts, or you can contact the media on their Facebook page. The VA hates bad publicity. In addition to that, you should contact Trumps White House hotline for veterans. If you contact the VA for anything about this fiduciary, do it in writing. The VA also hates paper trails. Once you get their attention, you not only want this corrected, but you want an accounting down to the dann penny about how much that… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

Laura, the White House hotline number is 855-948-2311.

If you call the VA or get calls from them, you should record those calls if possible, or take very detailed notes about the call.

Laura Fino
Laura Fino

Thanks so much for the info, 91vet and an utter vet. You are the best! My hand is sore from writing to elf!

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Laura Fino – – – Definition of Fiduciary, “involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary.” If your son’s health is in jeopardy, or you have proof that the VA has violated your son’s disability or rights of proper care, then I suggest that you somehow obtain a outside Patient Advocate. Check your State, or County listing in the Disability Sections. Going it alone with the VA, you’ll need someone with experience that will back you up, not tear you down, or to manipulate, or to confuse things. Get as many allies as you… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
Most attorneys are looking for easy cases to handle. The more complicated, the less interested they will be. Time = Money to most attorneys. Except for the ones that do because their called to do so. Problem is, that there’s not many attorneys who truly back up Veterans. And, I recommended the Patient Advocate avenue, because in order to gain any ground with the VA, or to make changes, you’ll need to find a baseline where you can get things stabilized first, and then use the Patient Advocate as a buffer. Wishing you the best. – – – Nutter. I… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

I’ve mentioned this before, the only way the VA is going to dramatically change, if their exposed. How to expose, Social Media, or to wait until someone who truly cares, one that has power, authority, and influence, and then demands changes in the VA. May I remind you, were still waiting for someone. Hello? – – – Nutter.

91Veteran
91Veteran
More to it than being a bad boss? Very likely much more to it, but that would depend on what was found in their investigation. Its very possible they found all kinds of serious problems, but how many of those findings would point to larger problems if they were used as an excuse to fire these two? I get the sense in reading this that this investigation was started because of the tubing left in the leg publicity. No matter the results of the investigation, failure to act and failure to lead are likely reasons for firing that they thought… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

@ 91Veteran- You are too generous with benefit of doubt on inadequate training. Maybe the surgeon was on OPIOIDS or…~~*crack*~~ or SMACK? This is ground zero Midwest opioid and heroin epidemic territory and it’s the VA.

Leaving tubing inside where it was clearly not supposed to be is akin to your mechanic only leaving you with one axle and three tires…a trainwreck….not a simple lack of training. I’m going with SMACK speculation.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yeah, you’re right nam. How can any sane, competent, non crackhead insert a tube with friggin plastic covering on it into a vein and think that its normal?

I can only imagine the tub of leeches that would be sitting nearby for his hemi treatment if the nurse hasn’t eaten them thinking they were gummy worms.

namnibor
namnibor

~LOL!~ The employees are lamprey eating leeches: parasite on parasite. LOL!

namnibor
namnibor

We Veterans just happen to be the host for the engorged purple team lamprey. Ever see a lamprey? Alien species that only serves itself and contributes not one benefit to it’s hosts or nature.

Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt

communication with veterans is in my opinion the biggest shortcoming of the VA administration

namnibor
namnibor

All due respect I have to disagree and say one of Maslow’s Basic Human Needs, ‘SAFETY’ is the VA’s biggest shortcoming…they communicate quite well through network of travel pay fraud posters and VA Public Relations…lots of communication but it’s out entirely wrong orifice.

Peter Kreutzfeldt
Peter Kreutzfeldt

no argument here. The posters and bullshit they post all over the VA clinics are nothing but propaganda and a waste of money

namnibor
namnibor

Off-Topic: Please help me understand what the POTUS means by wanting “Extreme Vetting”? I guess I am confused because I would call 22 Vet Suicides daily and Vets setting themselves on fire outside VAMC parking lots would be ‘Vets gone to Extreme Measures”…or is “Extreme Vetting” using Vets as nonhuman test subjects? What do I know?!

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

IN 3…..2…….1…….. Fuck the VA!

This public service message has been brought to by Fuck the VA Dot Com.
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namnibor
namnibor

“OIG”- Orgies In Glass (conference room). Remember a former Head Hack of OIG getting in a tad of trouble causing early retirement with full bennies for habitually masturbating in an all glass conference room that happened to be across from others not pleased with what was in plain view…pigeons were blamed and many pigeons are still in therapy. Some things cannot be unseen.

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

He ditched some wood. Good ole Wooditch! Lol! The Larry Bird looking mofo right? 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGuCmXdxGcI&index=41&list=PL0054CAD1367AFC37”

Mike
Mike
Well people have been fired and except the ones who retired, the all came back. So whoop de do! Denver was a one star, took all the easy stuff like paperwork and barely made a two. The two rating didn’t improve anything, just took results, highlighted the trivial crap to increase the false ratings. An outside firm should evaluate because no way being honest. It a lot easier when taking your own test! Leaving a tube, just shows they don’t give a shit. A good surgeon make 4-5+ times a VA dipshit. When you hire the person no one wants?… Read more »
james gallegos

only one way to get Secretary Shulkin to react to any wrongdoings at the VA and that is it has to be published by a news agency. Out of sight, out of mind.

I am just hoping that the senate committee on veterans affairs does what it said it will do and demand an explanation why action was not taken on VA employee’s that have been reported.

Time will tell, I sent information I sent to Secretary Shulkin to Rubio and to the Senate committee on veterans affairs in May of 2017 and will send another follow up letter in December.

Iam Peeved
Iam Peeved

You Should Look into the V.A. in Martinsburg W.V. They are just as bad if not worse!

Dennis
Dennis

I am taking bets and giving 7:1 odds that these two will stay fired as long as President Trump’s first firing. And his second. And the third.

Now that I think about it, I will bump the odds to 100:1 just to make it interesting. Easy money?

Janie

I am waiting and praying someone with investigate the VA in Milwaukee!!

Don Karg
Don Karg
11/03/2017 Dear Benjamin Krause, “Ms. RimaAnn Nelson was appointed Medical Center Director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System on Oct. 2, 2016,” she is the sixth director in 3.5 years, and she has been there for a year. Late October the VA received a “one star” rating, this rating has not changed since the scandal broke in May of 2014. I must commend Director RimaAnn Nelson on the success it could have been a Zero Star rating. You think the VA Administration rounded it off to the higher number? Obviously Management is lacking for the rate not to change.… Read more »
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