Cincinnati VA At Center Of Misconduct Investigation

Cincinnati VA

Benjamin KrauseThere is a new investigation into alleged misconduct and improper prescriptive practices by Cincinnati VA chief of staff according to cryptic messages from the agency.

At the center of the allegations is acting chief of staff is a thoracic surgeon Barbara Temeck, MD. The investigation involves prescriptive privileges and scripts written for numerous people including VISN 10 director Jack Hetrick. Hetrick recused himself from the investigation since it involves his wife.


According to WCPO:

WCPO and Scripps reported it had turned up evidence “of potentially inappropriate conduct involving a high-ranking official at the Cincinnati hospital, regional network director Jack Hetrick, and one of Hetrick’s family members.”

Hetrick said Saturday that he did meet with a WCPO reporter in January and “did my best to answer the questions they had.” Hetrick declined to elaborate, citing the VA’s investigations.

“I feel pretty confident that we have been very fair and above board and have produced a lot of positive things at the facility and many of the improvements over the past year,” Hetrick said.


On Friday, reports about the Cincinnati investigation surfaced on Capital Hill. Sources within numerous congressional offices received cryptic phone calls from VA OIG phone lines that advised of a formal inquiry into the matter.

Numerous offices from Ohio and Indiana delegations received the calls. The callers refused to go off script to answer questions of staffers during the calls. The House Committee on Veterans Affairs was “deeply troubled” about the nature of the calls in light of their cryptic nature.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup is leading a field hearing this week in Cincinnati that will focus on hiring practices. With the new information, it is likely that questions will also be raised about the new scandal as well. Wenstrup is a military veteran and medical doctor. His insight into the allegations should be worth watching.

It should be interesting to see how this develops given the investigation into prescriptive practices at Tomah VA.


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  1. In Alaska the VA built a very over priced clinic (Alaska has no VA hospital) right outside the gate to JBER/Elmendorf. They built a nifty hamster tube for vets to be able to walk over to the active duty hospital for treatment the VA could not give.

    Two years after it opened the hospital commander told me they had made a deal with the devil. Walk into the Elmendorf Hospital Er any given moment and there was mainly veterans looking for medical care. The VA had no emergency room and if you called their standard answer was either wait weeks for an appointment or go the the AF ER. What a deal for Dr. Cynthia Joe, the VISN 20 Chief of Staff. All she had to do was put out a memo “send them to the Air Force”. Job done.

    At one point the hospital commander had a fulltime guard on the military side of the hamster tube to stop vets from coming over. The VA had started just telling vets to show up at the active duty specialty clinics. In my husband’s case Alaska had ONE civilian specialty ENT that did equilibrium issues. After Dr Joe had stiffed him for a dozen patients he stopped seeing veterans. She even had the balls to order in complicated vestibular testing equipment and call his office to ask if he could help train someone how to use it! I heard it never got unpacked and for a while no one knew what happened to it.

    Dr Joe instead said that the active duty vestibular specialist would help my husband. Only we went to the same church and one Sunday he told me I am sorry, I have over 200 active duty patients and I am the only one. I cannot take any veterans. Dr. Joe wrote it up in his records that I interfered with her plan for his care.

    Another top active duty doc from church told me that in a staff meeting of active duty docs it was joked that they needed to call the demo guys at Ft Rich and ask them to blow that hamster tube one night. I warned him talk like that over on the VA side of the hamster tube would get him red flagged for life.

    The USSRVA does not take kindly to talk like that even if you are a highly decorated combat surgeon.


  3. [ The DOD and VA have been authorized to share resources since the 1980s … ]

    this joining the VA with DoD may or may not be a good thing…though i’m writing from a disability & disability claims process perspective. how many veterans were exited from mil service due to an injury/illness and the mil doctors fudged a bit on the medical records and sent you on your way to VA where the mil said you’d be getting better treatment and higher rating? i’m sure a lot of veterans can relate to that.

    then the VA opens their VA blackhole trapdoor many of us have walked through. and so it begins by lowering the mil rating and sure enough ignoring any of the mil med records evidence no matter how many times you show it to a VA doctor. remember, the mil said VA would treat you better!

    when i read that since the 1980’s DOD and VA have been authorized to share resources i gotta ask, what resources where shared? and how many veterans were denied much of what Title 38 was supposed to protect and help the veterans? A LOT of factual medical evidence is in a gazillion veterans’ mil records that VA downright ignores when it comes to medical diagnosis and disability claims. correct me if i’m wrong, but how many veterans showed a VA doctor their mil medical reports and the VA doctor went with that information and helped the veteran out?

    if Congress currently isn’t going to hold ANYONE at VA responsible for the laws Congress put forth in Title 38 and elsewhere, frankly it doesn’t mean much to me that the DOD and VA suppoesedly share information and will work together under that umberella.

    of course that is just one aspect of the story in the “dailycaller”. and i am writing from the medical/injury diagnosis/claims area. it appears that the Lovell facility gets high grades for medical care. i for one would enjoy the “..military culture has permeated the civilian staff..” atmosphere at a VA facility. i imagine most veterans would.

    i do ask myself, “is merging the two the only way Congress can actually control and hold someone accoutable at VA?”. is that their thinking? they sure can’t with the VA as it is now that’s for sure. and would Congress really fix the VA/RO disability claims problems if the VA merged with DOD?

    we are talking about the DoD. and we are disabled veterans. ask around how the veterans feel that got shated by DoD with “gulf war illness”, or “AO”, or promises made at PSD while waiting on discharge, only to find out no one is answering your calls once you’re civilian. so much for those promises.

    its not all gloom, really. both DoD & VA do some great works in some areas, and i’m just thinking to myself ya know? my experiences are different than some. but certainly not to those who post on this site, or vawatchdog, or hadit or veteran legal firms or any of the others.

    how many of us have spent over 30+ years to get justice with those first claims filed so many years ago? you know, the claims the mil told us to start as soon as we were medically discharged from active duty, the VA will do you good!? 30+ years, that’s insane. but many veterans have done just that while many more died waiting.

    i’ll contact those three contacts also.

  4. Nothing will come of it. It never changes. Congress doesn’t have the will or balls to legislate change. AFGE has more power than senators.

  5. “The Navy simply wouldn’t tolerate a healthcare system that became a bottleneck for recruit readiness, he said, and that fact has benefited vets from all military branches”.

    Wow !! What a great idea, why don’t we let US Navy medicine run the VA, if anyone harms a veterans or dependant , utilize the UCMJ`s regulations and that will eliminate corruption that’s rampant in our current VA system.

    Read more:

    1. I’m glad you read that article. I knew someone would appreciate it!
      I believe merging the military with VA, and following the “strickest rules and regs” will, in fact, cut out almost all of the corruption, greed, graft, waste, abuse and fraud that IS VA!

      1. It only took them how many years to finally listen? I am all for it. Toss the AFGE rats into the harbor to infest somewhere else. UCMJ. All the way.

    2. Some interesting facts in that article. If the DOD and VA have been authorized to share resources since the 1980s, then every vet should have been given the choice of going to a DOD facility for care if the VA couldn’t handle the load. Problem is, since the mid 90s the DOD has had trouble providing care for retirees.
      Also interesting is that the DOD and VA built a facility for $130 million. The VA spent, what, over $1.5 billion on Aurora and its not even done yet?
      It would be so nice to see some fat union thug crying for his mommy if he found out he now has to work for some crusty old sergeant.

  6. This is the article I was referencing about unemployment rate!;

    “Obama Breaks 38 Year Record! 93,671,000 Americans Are NOT Working…Most Since 1977” | The Proud Conservative.

    Google it and read what’s really happening!

  7. Nice “Bad VA Art” today, Ben.

    Anyone pick-up in the collective articles about this VISN Director whom “recused himself” because of his “wife’s professional and personal relationship”, and how supposedly that Director is now reporting to an entirely different VISN because of this?

    This is like a chess game in Wonderland….and goes right with Ben’s “Bad VA Art” today! 🙂

    Please people, contact those -3- viable contacts. The more the merrier.

    1. @namnibor
      I sure do wish more would have come on here today and read our comments on the articles out of Cincinnati!
      I believe they sure would have contacted those three people that want information about VA nationwide!

      1. I emailed them and they responded. They will be busy for awhile with their current investigation but are interested in what I sent them.

      2. Yessir I heard that…it’s the same ole chit but on a diff day…make it mandatory that All Politicians uP on Capitol Hill use the VA as their Primary health care & 4 that Vet that goes well My healthcare is great @ Cin VA you don’t get it Dummy when they Screw 1 Vet they Screw All Vets !

      3. Even if they had to use the VA.the VA would figure how to flag they would known who they are and make sure they get the best treatment.

        That elected official. Will state since I been going to the VA.I’ve had nothing but top of the line treatment !

        You know they would never be reported as being matter if they actually became disruptive.

        Elected officials just need to do their jobs and help veterans instead of listening to employees or believing the employee and not demanding proof of whatever they accuse the veterans of doing.

        Elected officials should demand the illegal disruptive committee be dismantled and all flagged veterans have their records cleared when it’s found they punished the veteran and unable to provide proof of the disruptive behavior.

        And those employees who falsely accused fired or charges placed on them.

  8. This is the VA. Nobody will be disciplined over this. Nobody will get fired, and all those involved will get promoted. It’s just the same old VA as it always is!

    1. Texas congressmen went to VA and spoke with veterans and they confirmed they are not happy with the VA and he state’s the VA is adversarial against veterans and out of control.

      And that the president must act now. Think veterans should bombard the white house demanding the president act now publicly addressing the whole country.

      Tomarrow lets all call the white house demanding reform .if enough people call the president just might realize the magnitude of the incompetence of the VA mentality of employees first not veterans.

      1. JAMES THE POTUS DOSENT GIVE A RATS ASS ABOUT VETS VETS ARE NOT HIS VOTING BASE POTUS SAYS TO VETS KISS MY POTUS ASS HE WILL GIVES JACK CRAP FOR VETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I find it unusual that the VA OIG was calling Capitol Hill offices about a pending investigation. Given the reaction of those offices, I think they are also finding it unusual.
    Why would they call congressional delegations on this investigation and not others?
    Is the OIG finally trying to justify their inflated budget? Or is the OIG trying to make it look like they are doing their jobs and need the budget requested? Almost like the OIG office got wind of budget cuts.

  10. The VA has many years to hire family members into management positions and those manager’s hire other family members or have other manages do them a favor and hire their family members into different sections of the VA.

    They family members maybe told If your hired you will have to go to another we won’t get caught.

    I told a real story where in Phoenix the associate director Green retired.

    As soon as he retired his son David green was hired in a training slot file room supervisor.

    When employees complained they caved in and removed David green and promoted him to a gs 7 position administrative assistant.

    When employees complained about that.they removed David green and promoted him to chief of ambulatory care.

    When employees complained about that they.transfered David green to another facility as assistant chief of medical administration.

    This was done over a five year period.

    This has happened many many times at all VA facilities. So they are in positions that they control all aspects of the veterans administration.

    You complain and you have a very good chance of having to deal with their family members or friends Retalation against you.

    This starts at the top.if someone would do a survey of employees who are asked how many friends or family members they know who work at the same VA or another VA facility.

    They would find that the survey would show a very high number are friends or family members and veterans and employees are effected.

    It’s like running a gontlet.veterans can place a complaint against an employee and that employee is somehow connected to the employee you have the compliant against.

    Same with employees who complain they and the veterans have no avenue to fight back as due to this hiring practices.they will get the ? around.fired or in veterans cases reported as being disruptive and punished by the disruptive committee.

    In order to really get back to the original mission of the VA to care for veterans.

    All management from top to bottom need to be set free and any employees related to them set free.any high school friends working for them set free.

    Hiring practices taken away from the VA and a private company take that procedure over.

    Same goes for all enities of the VA.regional office.oig ect. Laws inforced and large fines placed upon employees who violate those laws or required jail time.

    Veterans need an avenue to fight the VA.When veterans are having problems with getting their disability or the patient rep.a private company who has no ties to the government.

    And they must stop the VA from punishing veterans through the disruptive committee and that committee abolished.

    And if any veteran does become disruptive.the VA call the civilian police and report the incident.

    This a will give the veterans the ability to defend themselves against the allegations through the legal proceedings of our justice system.

    The way it is now veterans are screwed by vindictive employees.who would report veterans for disruptive behavior and they never have to provide proof.

    There has to be at least more than one that witnessed the disruptive behavior and written evidence of the date.time.who was involved and then reported to the local police.

    But before this is done the employee it employees must also show what they did to find out why the veterans were upset and what they did to help the veteran.

    To many employees don’t try to find out why the veterans are upset.nor do they try to help the veterans in resolving the problem.

    Employees have been taught if any veteran becomes upset.don’t do anything just call the VA police.wrote up the incident and the veterans will be punished.

    That is not the way to care for veterans.many veterans have seen things civilians don’t seem to understand.

    Instead of compassion and taking time to help the veterans find a solution to the veterans concerns they jump the gun and proceed to punish the veterans.

    It may take sometime to start new.but the VA should be closed all enities and new employees hired starting with veterans as employees.

    Active duty members who want to work for the able to apply for positions.just before their ETS.

    1. @James
      If you google the article namnibor referenced. You’ll see three names at the bottom: two from scripps and one from WCPO (a Cincinnati news station)!
      They state in the article, they want to “hear” from anyone nationwide concerning any issue of VA!
      You’ll have to email each one separately! I did just that! I gave each person a small “run down” of what’s happening in my area (Central Florida)! Then I gave them Ben’s website and also “VAWatchdog’s” website! I asked them to specifically to read the 12 February (last friday) article where the head of the union called Miller a “fool” and said he would “Whoop” Mc Donald’s ass if he didn’t get in line!
      Your story is, in my opinion, a great news story! Plus the “widespread NEPOTISM” which IS VA!
      On a side note. The article I received this morning from the Daily Caller News Foundation explains something I believe Ben has mentioned. That is where there are only two (2) VA directors out of sixty (60) who have served in the military! I believe this should be a “prerequisite” BEFORE being employed by VA in any compacity! No military service – NO JOB! That would also include Secretary of the VA and the Union!
      Of course I would completely desolve the union. I would make sure ALL employees followed “Title 38 rules and Regs.” or be mandated to follow the U.C.M.J.! Get caught screwing a vet – auto demotion and/or ejection from VA property! Automatic! No appeal! No trying to get reinstated!
      Harsh, maybe!? But it would stop the bull crap!

      1. I will try and find the message your speaking about and I also will write to them all.

        They all hope that we veterans will just get tired and give up.we older veterans have seen a lot and many of is.will not give up.

        Our young military personal should not have to start from scratch trying to find someone to fight against the way the VA is adversarial against veterans and go through what many of us veterans had to indure at the hands if corrupt employees.

        I think it all starts with the regional office denying American veterans their disabilities which determine weather they get the treatment they!

        Do many veterans have been turned away or denighed treatment for their disability.that should have been approved.

        They hide records.tell veterans lies about their records were destroyed.They need more evidence.when they know they have all the evidence they needed to approve the veterans disability.

        The veterans are forced to apply for Medicare or medicade or the VA tells them they make one dollar over the threshold to qualify for VA care or tell them if you don’t like the VA to seek treatment on the outside.using social security benefits.

        They know I’m total and permanently disabled and they still ask do you have private insurance.

        They put veterans in harms way by employees being able to accuse the veterans of disruptive behavior.when the veterans did noting wrong.

        It really upsets me knowing they can punish veterans without evidence or anyway of defending themselves against the allegations.

        How can a government agency besides our justice able to punish veterans without giving the veterans a way to defend themselves.

        This tactic goes against ever moral aspect of our civil and constitutional rights afforded every American except veterans.we are not their children to punish as they feel fit.

        Somehow this type of punishment must be’s illegal to punish anyone.they are not the law.

        If this is not stopped other agencies could adopt this type of committee and all America’s could be punished at will.

  11. Here’s an article I just received in my email. It’s from;
    “The Daily Caller News Foundation”, by Luke Rosiak (2/15/2016)

    “Congress May Fix VA by Merging Them with Military!”

    I had no idea, as I’m sure most veterans had no clue, this was going on for the past four or five years. It’s up around the Chicago Naval Base, I believe!
    The article alleges this one hospital ran $12 million UNDERBUDGET! Yet, the healthcare received by active duty, spouses and veterans WAS topnotch! Why? Because that VA was run by the military, NOT VA! They used the “most stringent (rules) by the military and VA” to give everyone the best care possible!
    I guess there might be hope yet! The Congress doesn’t want to go to a “single payer healthcare system!” After y’all read this – what will be your opinion?
    I’ve also sent a “copy” of the email to Ben! I hope he reads it.

  12. @namnibor
    I went to the article you referenced. Very Interesting to say the least.
    What popped out at me was, Kendrick said he’d “sue” the news station if they reported what the “allegations were!” So much for “Freedom of the Press!”
    What’s more interesting is, at the end of the article you reference, there are three email addresses given out. There for any and all, veterans or not, to contact them, IF you had a story! There are two from “Scripps” and one WCPO reporter.
    1.) Mark. Greenblatt @ scripps . com
    2.) ; Daniel. Monk @ WCPO . com
    3.) Arron . Kessler @ scripps . com
    (Remove the “spaces” to email them.)

    From the article, scripps has been involved in this since October. The news media just recently. Yet, it’s great to hear there are a couple individuals who want to “hear from” anyone who has complaints about VA from around the nation!
    Whether they can do anything is questionable. At least their willing to try!
    I also noticed, at least in my opinion, there’s questionable actions taken by VA upper management on trying to hide these egregious practices committed by VA employees!

    1. P.S.
      You can also go to the article namnibor referenced and “click” onto each of the people’s email address I gave to email them separately!

    2. Glad you saw those contacts at bottom of that Indy News article. I sent that one just last night/late, but sent Ben the original article when I viewed it on my local and national news ON LATE FRIDAY…notice the pattern of the VA dumping stories on Federal Holiday Weekends? Very predictable. They were hoping it would be buried in either election news or nasty weather weekend, and most have their minds on their “sweethearts for Valentines Day”….but nope, cat’s out of the bag.

      That threat to sue if they ran the news story is priceless. I hope many contact those -3- contacts and concisely write your experience….Keep It Short + Simple= K.I.S.S.

      I think it was just October or so of 2015 that VA Employees were protesting at the Cincinnati VAMC, so there’s definitely some crap going on there that needs the light of day and truth and justice.

      Especially, that link to Indy Article goes into more detail of the nepotism at Cincinnati VAMC and VISN…love how it seems that Director is sort of throwing his wofe under the VA Bus by recusing himself…..HA HA HA!

      1. @namnibor & James –
        When I googled these words:

        “VA launches twin investigations removes oversight authority from Cincinnati regional director”

        I got a lot of “articles” to go onto! Each one basically said the same. There were a few differences. Yet, at the end of the few I read, those three (3) people’s names appeared! I also put the articles on Facebook! Only I’ve seen where Facebook, Zuckerman, tries to “censor” certain stories. As does “twitter”!
        Only that won’t stop me. I’ve made “freinds” with lots of people. They’ve gone to my “page”, when asked, and posted for me!

        I hope everyone on here contacts those three people (two from Scripps and the one from WCPO-TV).

        I believe some newspapers, radio and TV stations are starting to see the light. They know Americans are fed up with their B/S. We want the truth!
        If our government is hellbent on a “New World Order” with all the other governments. Then, by God, they better let the American People see what the hell is happening around the world!
        Americans are getting their news from other sources than from the “Main Stream liberal Medias”! The BBC and Utube are “spilling the beans” of “Civil Unrest” in Europe, how China IS manipulating our currency and much more.
        Here’s an additional piece of news many didn’t pay attention to on Friday (12 Feb.). The “Stock Market” numbers were not displayed! Why was that? Because the Stock Market is going haywire, that’s why!
        Mr. Trump stated this fact a month or so ago! He said the word “bubble” when talking about the market. What happens to bubbles guys? They burst!
        According to the “Newly released” (February 2016) DOL (Dept. of Labor) statistics for 2015, that’s just last year folks! Over 93.6 million Americans were unemployed! This is a new “record” which “…has not been broken in more than 38 years!” Google it! You’ll be pissed at the record breaking % that this translates to, almost to 45% to 49% unemployment. Obama’s White House must be using “Common Core Math”. Because they have been claiming 4.9% as the rate!
        Who would y’all want to believe – Obama’s figures or the facts coming out from the Dept. of Labor?
        I hate to bring “doom and gloom” to y’all. Yet, there are facts which needs to be discussed!
        Our government is becoming more corrupt daily. They know, or suspect, the end is fast approaching. Their digging in. They want to insure they stay on top.
        Did y’all know, from a new report, less than 100 people own more wealth than all the people worldwide COMBINED! Scary sh!t is occurring.
        I’ve been telling people to get out and vote this year. If any career politician is running, vote for someone who has not ever served before. That goes for the President all the way down to dog catcher!

        That’s my rant for now! Don’t worry I will rant again, as I’m sure others will!

        Crazy elf!

      2. Senator Bennett of Colorado was appointed by president Obama.he talks about veterans.

        But he lets his run the show and I know first hand.hid office does not assist veterans.they may make an inquire into the veterans complaints.

        But even when they get the reply back showing or proving the veteran was being harmed and the director telling hid office that they never punished the veteran.

        By telling them the veterans records had never been coded for disruptive behavior and his records were never red flagged and his office seen the veterans records where the VA did infact code and red flagged my records hand did punish me.

        Not only did the records show the above.the records showed where the VA threatened me with arrest federal charges and banishment from all VA care If they were ever told again that I become disruptive again I would be arrested.

        Bennett’s office after received the letter proving the VA lied.Bennett’s office did not do anything.someone holding and high office and does nothing for the veteran.even when they had the proof of gross mismanagement did nothing.

        He will not get my vote.

      3. Rember when Ben posted on here about how veterans are punished by the VA for veterans telling the VA They would sue and the VA report them to the disruptive committee for complaining.

        Sure sounds like the employees threat to sue should be disruptive and a threat to employees and veterans.where is the disruptive committee for those employees.

        They are a danger to veterans and employees. Oh yea I forgot they make up the rules as they go.oh it was just poor judgement.

  13. Here’s an article from Indianapolis that goes into more details of this growing scandal the VA was trying very hard to bury in a long weekend:

    Love how the director was SO QUICK to “recuse himself” to disassociate himself from his wife’s actions…smells of scandal to me.

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