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Friday, September 11, 2009

The Unholy Alliance of General Electric and Dr. Anna Chacko

UPDATE: Please also check out my new book, The Definitive Dossier on PTSD in Whistleblowers, for only $3.99, in which I dedicate chapter four entirely to the exploits of Dr. Anna Chacko. 

Introduction: I have featured several stories now about Dr. Anna Chacko. It's difficult to provide a full explanation each and every time. So, if this is your first reading, I suggest you read this piece, and this piece. That said, here's a quick summary. Dr. Chacko is currently the head of radiology at the Pittsburgh VA. I have tracked her history and I believe that she has engaged in a reign of professional terror that spans at least two decades. She has reigned terror on the military, several VA hospitals, and several other hospitals. I have referred to her as a Psychopath and I stand by that description.

It's unclear when the relationship between Dr. Anna Chacko and General Electric began. Sources that worked with her at Lahey Clinic, where Dr. Chacko was employed from 2001-2006, tell me that she often bragged that she had Joe Hogan on her speed dial. Joe Hogan was, until very recently, the CEO of General Electrics Health Care Technologies. The former head of the GE Health Care was the current CEO of GE itself Jeffrey Immelt. That GE division sells a variety of health care devices and equipment including equipment related to radiology. Dr. Chacko is herself in the radiology field. She has for many years been the head of radiology in a number of hospitals.

Now, in this previous post, I have stipulated that I believe that Dr. Chacko uses her position as head of radiology to steer business towards certain companies and then those companies provide her with kick backs. I stipulate this because several sources have told me stories in which high level managers have indicated that kick backs were involved. In one case, Dr. Chacko had bought a great deal of radiology equipment from a company on the verge of bankruptcy whiel she was at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Ma. Then, when the equipment was delivered, she demanded that it be taken back. The salesperson, upset, was heard screaming "you had no problem with our equipment when we paid for you and your husband to go to India". In another case, Dr. Chacko secured the purchase of hundreds of thousands of Dollars of Fuji equipment and then within a month, her son had a job working for Fuji in their London office.

I have no definitive proof that Dr. Chacko is currently, or has been, buying GE radiology equipment with the intent of getting a kickback. What I can show is that Dr. Chacko has orchestrated the purchase of more than $2 million in radiology equipment at one hospital. Then, since arriving at her current employer, the Pittsburgh VA, she has been constantly putting on pressure for that hospital to purchase in excess of a million dollars of radiology equipment als from GE. (General Electric has not yet responded to emails)Dr. Anna Chacko arrived at St. James Hospital in Butte, Mt. in July of 2007. Prior to that, she was at Boston University, and prior to that Lahey Clinic. As I mentioned earlier, even back to Lahey Clinic former colleagues have told me that Dr. Chacko often bragged that she had Joe Hogan on her speed dial.

From the moment she arrived at St. James Hospital, Dr. Chacko began targeting its radiology manager, Kristi George. According to court transcripts, Dr. Chacko began to target Mrs. George in an attempt to get her fired or to have her quit her employment at St. James Hospital. Almost immediately, Dr. Chacko began lobbying the CEO of St. James Hospital, James Kiser, to have her be charged with the task of buying new radiology equipment. Keep in mind again that this is a task that is normally done by the radiology manager for the reasons I already mentioned. Within a couple months, her lobbying efforts had worked. Dr. Chacko was given full responsibility for buying all radiology equipment.

In fact, Kristi George had absolutely no further role to play. The radiology manager normally is not merely the point person on the purchase. As such, they are coordinating all the bids, showings, and running all the numbers. They are the ones who's signature will be on hospital forms when a purchase is finalized. In this case, all these functions, including signing off on the purchases, was done by Dr. Anna Chacko. Buy she did. In the next year or so, Dr. Chacko orchestrated the purchase of about $2.5 million worth of radiology equipment. This included an ultra sound machine worth in the neighborhood of $225,000. It included a CT scan, a computerized tamography machine, a digital mammography machine, X rays, and an MRI machine. Some of these purchases were done as a lease, a source tells me that St. James Hospital has fallen behind on payments and they expect GE to confiscate many of these machines soon.

Dr. Chacko then left St. James in September of 2008. Some of these purchases were made only months prior to her exit.Dr. Chacko then went to work at the Pittsburgh VA as the head of radiology there. Almost immediately, she bought a new new MRI contrast agent Eovist/Primovist from Bayer. This is a highly specialized and sophisticated medical agent. It requires training and understanding. Neither Dr. Chacko nor anyone on staff was ever trained to use it and so it's rarely used. The purchase was several hundred thousand Dollars. It was the only major purchase that Dr. Chacko attempted to make of a non GE product.

Here's a partial list of other equipment that Dr. Chacko has attempted to have the Pittsburgh VA buy: GE 4 slice SPECT CT, CZT Cardiac SPECT, Nuclear Medicine GE Scintigram for breast cancer, a GE Ultrasound machine, and two GE workstations. A sources at the Pittsburgh VA tells me that in their opinion the machines that currently perform all these functions are in perfect working order and don't need to be replaced. Furthermore, they tell me for each of these machines, there are plenty of good alternatives from competitors of GE. Yet, in each and every case, Dr. Chacko has insisted on using GE for purchases.

So far, most of the purchases have been resisted. One individual that has tried to resist Dr. Chacko in making these purchases is Dr. Mona Melham. Back in 2006, Congressman Brad Miller, of North Carolina, lead an investigation in the House Committee on Science and Technology into a rare strain of legionella that went missing from this same Pittsburgh VA. Prominently implicated in this investigation is this same Dr. Mona Melham.

Back in March of this year, the Pittsburgh VA initiated an investigative board to remove Dr. Anna Chacko. That followed a series of complaints within the department in radiology at the hospital. The board recommended that Dr. Chacko be removed. Dr. Chacko challenged these findings and then reached out to the same Congressman Brad Miller. Congressman Miller reached out to the head of the VA, General Eric Shinseki and indicated to General Shinseki that it was Dr. Melham that was trying to orchestrate her ouster. Dr. Chacko has since come back on board the Pittsburgh VA. Dr. Melham's influence at the hospital is waning and so it's only a matter of time before Dr. Chacko is able to get approval for the purchase of what could be in excess of $2 million of GE medical equipment and other related medical items.

Epilogue:

Here's the definitive dossier of Dr. Chacko.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is realing intersting!! I suggest you look into her husband's "unholy" connection with the VA too.
Mr Lollar (Dr Chacko's current husband) describes himself as a "retired" VA National accounts Manager at Lockheed Martin, charged with selling Picture Archival and Communication system (PACS).

This is the same systems Radiology Departments are using for filmless radiology.

Google him using "bill lollar" and "lockheed Martin" as key words.

The questions to be answered are:
1- What does a physicist have to do with selling Radiology archival systems to the VA?
2- Was he also selling to the department of defense (the army) where Dr Chacko was working as a radiologist?
3- Did she secretely orchestrate sales to the government where he benefited, either before or after they were marries?? after all didn't she receive some kind of award for introducing PACS to the military?
4- What is the raltionship between the PACS at Lokheed Martin (where Dr Chacko's husband used to work, selling stuff to the VA and probably the military, for big money), and the General Electric (GE)current and former CEOs, who are best buddies with Chacko, and who are "scratching her back" as she scratches theirs.

Last, but NOT least, will GE's "big wigs" gain from Dr Chacko and Mr Lollar's private company (Moly99Montana), to produce the radioactive isotope, Tc99m, from Mo100 using a linear accelerator. Work is still ongoing in coordination with a second company to secure the appropriate licenses for the production and separation of Tc99m. This is verbatum from Mr Lollar description in his CV, and Dr Chacko is its CEO?? GE is a possible suiter to build the linear accelerator in Montana.

The scary thought is that, this lunetic psychopath may actually be generating radioactive material in this day and age of homeland security!!

Makes you wonder and maybe try to over a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,

This is Annie from BG. I didn't know you were on this track. You're obviously an expert thus I should have known better. Anyway, the story intrigued me so I started doing some checking and this is how I discovered your phenomenal investigative work. You possibly linked to it at BG but I missed it.

Who is Jacob? Perhaps you mentioned him already...son or husband...even a whole family business?

The Case For MammoPACS -
by Anna K. Chacko MD , Jacob A. Chacko
http://www.imagingeconomics.com/issues/articles/2002-05_07.asp?SkipInterstitial=TRUE

One might wonder how much does Miller know? She probably spoke to the GE people and they recommended she write to Miller. They most likely have a foot-in with him and had a word in his ear. Politicians begin to think they're invinciple - they're so drunk with power and perhaps some kickbacks.

A huge story and I wish you all the best. I'll be very interested in the outcome.

Best Regards,

Annie

Anonymous - WOW -

mike volpe said...

Dr. Chacko has a son. I didn't think he was in medicine. This is a lead I will definitely check out.

These PACS systems are big bucks. Chacko has bought them more than once.

Thanks for coming by Annie and I hope to see you here again.