Veterans group holds town hall meeting on VA hospital issues




The Department of Veterans Affairs ousted the head of its Ohio-based regional network Thursday and disciplined an official at the Cincinnati VA medical centerin connection with a probe of the hospital’s management and veterans’ care.

On Friday, a veterans group met in Cincinnati to talk about the problems. 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 non-patient care duties.

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