TOMAH – Survivors of Marine veteran Jason Simcakoski reached a $2.3 million settlement for negligent care from Tomah VA linked to the death of the veteran in 2014.
Simcackoski, 35 years old, died following receipt of psychiatric health care services and treatment provided by now infamous David Houlihan, MD and Houlihan’s staff. He was survived by a wife, Heather, and their daughter Anaya.
Last January, Dr. Houlihan agreed to permanently surrender his medical license. In 2015, IG concluded its investigation the precipitated Houlihan’s termination from VA employment at Tomah VA, aptly nicknamed “Candy Land.” Houlihan was known as “Candy Man” by veterans he treated.
The veteran, an honorably discharged Marine, received health care from Tomah VA from 2006 to 2014. In August 2014, he submitted for acute care. After 20 days, August 30, 2014, doctors so heavily sedated him that he could barely speak with his family. Hours later, Simcakoski was found unresponsive.
Tomah VA staff waited a shameful 10 minutes to provide the veteran with any life-saving attempts, which were ultimately unsuccessful. IG found Tomah VA lacked medication to reverse drug overdose.
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An autopsy showed Simcakoski died from mixed drug toxicity. It did not help that VA lacked overdose reversal drugs or that staff failed to perform CPR.
Many veterans were injured or killed as a result of negligent health care received at Tomah VA over the years. While VA has shifted roles at the facility, local reports indicate problems at Tomah still persist despite attempts to reform Tomah VA.
In an unrelated matter, during a Congressional investigation into wrongdoing at the facility, agency employees were caught on video playing human Hungry Hungry Hippos that was first leaked to me and then played on Fox News. It was a real hoot.
Here are a couple oldies but goodies to refresh your memory:
Corny Halloween Ghostbusters Flu Vaccine Video
On Tomah VA employee leaked this video to me a couple years ago. I’m not sure who in the video still works there, but we thought it was hilarious and worth passing along.
Tomah VA Human Hungry Hungry Hippos
That same Tomah VA employee also leaked the hilarious human Hungry Hungry Hippos video taken during the facility’s annual Halloween party. This one made the rounds through Fox News and other news media publishers. Fantastic.