CINCINNATI: The Department of Veterans Affairs ousted the head of its Ohio-based regional network Thursday and disciplined an official at the Cincinnati VA medical center in connection with a probe of the hospital’s management and veterans’ care.
The agency said its findings are being referred for a possible federal criminal investigation.
The VA announced in Washington that Jack Hetrick, director of the Ohio-based network that serves some 500,000 veterans including in Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan, is retiring after his proposed removal, while the Cincinnati hospital’s acting chief of staff, Dr. Barbara Temeck, was suspended from her duties, pending further administrative action.
The VA said a site visit didn’t substantiate impropriety in the quality of care for veterans or in community care referrals, but said the investigative team found misconduct related to Temeck’s provision of prescriptions and other medical care to members of Hetrick’s family. The VA said Temeck’s medical privileges were suspended and she was assigned to nonpatient care duties.
“We will continue to use VA’s statutory authority to hold employees accountable where warranted by the evidence,” VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson said in a statement. “That is simply the right thing to do for veterans and taxpayers.”
Messages seeking comment from Hetrick and the hospital were not immediately returned Thursday.