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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Propping a Psychopath: The Cone of Silence

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: This is my fourth, and nowhere near last, edition in my series of exposes of Dr. Anna Chacko. The circumstances that surround this story are long and quite complicated. As such, I encourage all new readers to read my three previous pieces, here, here, and here. That said, I will try and summarize the story thus far as best I can so that readers can follow along.

Dr. Anna Chacko is currently the head of radiology at the Pittsburgh VA Hospital. She has been there since October 2008. She is also, in my estimation, a Psychopath. Almost immediately following her arrival there, folks at the VA began complaining about her behavior. She bullied people, she lied about people, and she created an environment of terror. As such in March of this year, an investigative board was formed. The recommendation of that board was to have Dr. Chacko removed as director of radiology and this decision came in April. Then, Dr. Chacko challenged the results, hired an attorney, and began reaching out to politicians. She reached out to Congressman Brad Miller of North Carolina. He reached out to General Eric Shinseki, the head of the entire VA, and eventually word came down from his office to keep Dr. Chacko in her position. She continues there to this day and sources tell me that the situation has only gotten worse since she was put back in her position.

Since writing the first piece, folks from Seattle, to Boston, to Pittsburgh, and everywhere in between have reached out to me. They have filled in a picture of Dr. Chacko that goes back nearly two decades. This picture is of an individual that terrorizes, stabs people, black mails, and leaves people in her path with post traumatic stress disorder for having to deal with her. I have heard stories of terror and criminality that goes back to the early 1990's. It spans many different states and hospitals. Yet, she continues to operate and in fact, she continues to thrive. Dr. Chacko is worth reportedly in excess of $10 million. She maintains 10 thousand plus residence in Butte, Mt., and as I mentioned, she currently heads up the radiology department at the Pittsburgh VA. Her salary there is about $300,000 yearly.

As I tracked Dr. Chacko from Texas, to Boston, to Butte, Mt. and finally to Pittsburgh, there was one thing that I couldn't understand. This woman is a real in the flesh Psychopath. Everywhere she goes it's the same thing. She comes in. She targets those that won't go along with her. She lies about them. She terrorizes them, until they quit or get fired. She turns the workplace into a state of horror and chaos. It's the same thing at every place. Yet, she continues to find new work. So, how does it happen? I will examine that in this piece. With that, the introduction is over.

...

First, let me welcome my new fans. They are the employees of Lahey Clinic in Boston, Ma. You know who you are and I know when you visit. I have a trusty stat counter that is a plethora of information including the Internet service provider of my visitors. When someone from Lahey Clinic visits, that's clearly marked. These visitors have come in the hundreds nearly each and everyday to read each of the three stories I have written about Dr. Chacko so far. With all sincerity, I thank you for visiting and I hope you come back often.

You folks have a unique interest in these stories. That's because from 2001-2006, Dr. Anna Chacko was the head of radiology at Lahey Clinic. There are still many folks there that worked at Lahey when she was there. Boy, what stories you could probably tell. Unfortunately, you aren't telling them to me. That's not because there aren't any stories to tell. Dr. Chacko terrorized those that didn't go along with her. She bought millions of dollars worth radiology equipment, almost exclusively from GE, She was alleged to have taken kickbacks for all the equipment purchases, sharing patient records, among a slew of offenses. When she was finally removed, she was forcibly removed by security. On her way out, she screamed, "kiss my big, Indian ass".

Yet, there is nothing but silence from Lahey. In fact, I can confirm that Lahey is proactively trying to silence people with knowledge of the situation. (more on that in a bit) Why is Lahey protecting Dr. Chacko? Below is a copy of an internal email sent on February 14th, 2007 from the higher ups at Lahey to the staff regarding Dr. Chacko.






Reference is made to the resignation of Dr. Anna Chacko from Lahey's Department of Radiology in April of 2006. Further to the discussions that I have had with a number of you, and in accordance with the requirements of an agreement that Lahey reached with Dr. Chacko in connection with her resignation from the Clinic, I write to remind you that you are not to make any disparaging comments about her.

Thank you.


It doesn't take too much intuition to figure out what's going on here. After Dr. Chacko left, there was a lawsuit and as part of the lawsuit both sides were to keep quiet. Now, I understand why Lahey did this. Dr. Chacko spent about six years at Lahey. By the end, people were at their wits end. They were exhausted. I'm certain that it was Dr. Chacko that came back looking to sue. That's her Modus Operandi. When she did, the powers that be at Lahey likely had enough and they most certainly paid her off and agreed to keep silent because they knew that if they agreed to this, she would be out of their professional lives forever.

Of course, such thoughts are short sighted. The powers that be knew exactly what they were dealing with. No one I have spoken with has challenged my assertion that Dr. Chacko is a Psychopath. I doubt the higher ups at Lahey didn't know this when they agreed to this settlement. Once they did, they unleashed her on the rest of the health care industry.

Once she was unleashed, Dr. Chacko made her way through the rest of the country and destroyed everything in her path. She wound up as head of radiology at St. James Hospital in Butte, Mt. She was there for fourteen months and yet she is party to no less than three different lawsuits. There are folks at that hospital that used to be best friends for years and are now enemies because Dr. Chacko forced each to choose sides. The hospital is on the brink of bankruptcy. The radiology department is in total chaos, and the CEO that hired her, James Kiser, has lost his job. St. James Hospital could have been warned but the agreement is clear. No one at Lahey could speak in a "disparaging" way against Dr. Chacko. So, if they called her former employer, they were in no position to tell the truth.

At the Pittsburgh VA, Dr. Chacko has engaged in threatening behavior. She singles out people she doesn't like and spreads lies within the department about them. She doesn't allow anyone in the radiology department to speak to anyone else about anything that isn't work related. She threatens legal resident aliens with calling immigration if they cross her. She refuses to do clinical work. The hospital is so afraid of her that the H.R. department refuses to investigate the continued complaints that staff has been making about her. The Pittsburgh VA, much like St. James, was totally unprepared for her terror. In part, that's because her former employers, Lahey Clinic included, weren't in a position to speak freely about her. In an effort to wash their hands of her, they agreed to remain silent. In doing so, they allowed her to unleash herself on other unsuspecting medical establishments.

Lahey is so concerned that Dr. Chacko is going to sue them that the hospital continues to actively silence anyone in a position to speak about Dr. Chacko and her exploits. I was tipped to a doctor that currently works near me at a hospital in Aurora, Illinois. I was told that on one occasion, Dr. Chacko, in front of a staff meeting of dozens of doctors, lit into this doctor. Dr. Chacko screamed at her calling her lazy, careless, stupid, etc. She did this while the rest of the staff sat in shock and horror. I reached out to the victim of this barrage. She confirmed the story and even said, "I remember it like it was yesterday." We spoke briefly however I called her at work. So, we agreed to speak later after she got off work. I never spoke to her again. According to two sources, she then reached out to Lahey Clinic and was told that she shouldn't speak with me. One source tells me that she called her former boss, Dr. Carl R. Larsen, and asked if she should speak with me. He advised her not to.

By doing so, Lahey continued to make sure that the truth doesn't get out. Their only agenda is to protect the agreement they made with Dr. Chacko more than two years ago. As such, the hospital won't be sued and there won't be any unnecessary attention paid to it. Meanwhile, because the truth doesn't get out, Dr. Chacko is allowed to operate freely. If everyone at Lahey Clinic spoke freely and truthfully about their recollections of Dr. Chacko, she would immediately be suspended from any medical duties. That's because while she was there she systematically violated numerous medically ethical protocols. The definition of a "disruptive physician", just for instance, is so loose that it would only take a handful of stories to have any number of medical boards label her as a "disruptive physician". That would only be the beginning of the potential charges.

I can say without a doubt that if everyone from Lahey that has been reading my articles would reach out to me to tell what they know that the next day there would be enough evidence to remove her immediately from her position at the Pittsburgh VA. In fact, there would be enough evidence for a serious Congressional investigation that is so long overdue. Yet, that isn't happening. It isn't happening because the powers that be at Lahey decided to take the easy way out. Instead of confronting her and making sure that she never did to anyone else what she did to their hospital, they paid her off and silenced themselves. By doing so, they also made sure that she could unleash herself on the rest of the medical community and they would be totally unaware of what they are dealing with. They washed their hands of her but also made sure that she could do to others what she had done to them for six long years. That's exactly what she's done. The folks at Lahey no longer have to deal with the nightmare of Dr. Chacko. Unfortunately, the folks currently working at the Pittsburgh VA aren't quite as lucky as those at the Lahey Clinic. Their nightmare is still unfolding. Had they been warned they wouldn't have a nightmare.

Epilogue:

Here's the definitive dossier of Dr. Chacko.


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a worker at Lahey Clinic. I never met Chacko but had heard she was an awful Jeckyl and Hyde character.

Lahey is a rather conservative place with a lot of information closely held. I suspect many of the Lahey readers enjoy the gossip but don't really know what Chacko did or how she did it.

Anonymous said...

Another point is I doubt Lahey was asked to give a character reference for Chacko as she hopped quickly from one place to another.

This is a bit different from whether you follow her around and provide negative information.

mike volpe said...

well, if BU, ST. James in Butte, and the Pittsburgh VA, all failed to call her former employers to find out what her time there was like shame on them, however I have a hard time believing that all three hospitals failed to call her former employers.

Anonymous said...

Usually one place can tell another place that a worker is bad news without necessarily spelling everything out. One can only guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if Chacko snows any new place with her charm and intelligence and also claims victimization at the earlier places, i.e., don't ask them anything because they are biased against me.

Anonymous said...

I suspect Chacko is a trickster who moves too fast. Someone like Jesse Cole would have no reason NOT to warn off future employers. He probably had no way of knowing where she was going next. Also, couldn't the VA have done a simple web search of Chacko? There was already a fair amount of bad stuff in the Montana Standard. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

Lahey may have been remiss, but I bet the VA was also a bit lazy on this assuming the whole appointment was not just fixed and political anyway.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful blog with so many angles. Probably worthy of a book--there is health care, corruption, the military, the VA, hospital politics, HR, lawyers, sex, an ethnic minority, questions of good and evil, big business, lawsuits, and grudges!! Could be made into a movie--I'd like to see how Meryl Streep can transform herself into Chacko.

mike volpe said...

I agree that this story is fascinating but let's not forget that real people were affected and real lives were affected.

Anonymous said...

Mike, There are literally hundreds of people who are reading your Blog and are very grateful that there is someone out there who is a voice for them. Don't give up. Don't let the "cone of silence" wear you down. People have been and will continue to come forward. Sink your teeth into this story and draw it out like venom. The proper authorities will hopefully step in soon. We appreciate what you are doing!

Anonymous said...

The big question is how do you prove the kickbacks? You need a smoking gun...everything else is speculation and guess-work. She won't go to jail just for being nasty or unpopular. Probably someone from industry would have to come forward with proof of payoffs. If cash, this would be hard to trace.

Anonymous said...

Here is a Chacko-ism: "don't steal from my rice bowl!"

Anonymous said...

A potential problem with your investigation is that radiologists, in general, are constantly buying new, expensive equipment and often have preferred vendors. You would have to prove that the purchases were unnecessary and/or there was linkage to a payback. Usually purchases are a sign that the radiologist is keeping up with the field and wants an up-to-date department. The ability to buy expensive equipment is also a sign of prestige within a hospital.

mike volpe said...

I agree with the last comment though I address that issue more fully in this piece.

http://theeprovocateur.blogspot.com/2009/09/introduction-i-have-featured-several.html

Not every radiologists orchestrates the removal of a radiology manager, the person that would be in charge of purchasing new equipment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your likely conclusions in the court of public opinion, but these are chicken droppings in a court of law. Also, radiology machines ARE expensive; you can spend 1 or 2 million very quickly to get a new CT machine, etc. For everything this woman does there is a plausible other explanation. She may have gotten rid of radiology managers because she is simply a control freak but not necessarily corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Also, in theory, a director of radiology would know better than her subordinates what is state of the art and needed. You would probably need a peer of Chacko's stature to determine whether the purchases were justified.

mike volpe said...

I think everyone makes good points. I will say that I am only getting started. I receive a lot of evidence and I don't always share all of it, and I am not a prosecutor. I believe that I have shown overwhelming evidence that something is very wrong and that it warrants a formal investigation.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The reply to "anonymous" who says "that radiologists, in general, are constantly buying new, expensive equipment and often have preferred vendors" may be true, but buying exclusively from one vendor (here GE), despite newer and better technologies offered by other vendors,should raise suspisions. There are evidence of kickbacks, and "bribes" from other vendors to make Dr Chacko look at their equipment, and may be switch from exclusive GE. You just need to ask the right people. I'd say Phillips!!??
This director of radiology (Chacko)has NO idea about anything. She knows nothing about equipments. She follows orders from her GE "handlers" then dictates to the institution the verbatum list of what to buy, as it is handed down to her by her GE masters. She has NO logic thinking process of what the department needs, plans or future direction. She can easily fool the "unsuspected" hospital administrators, and has to get rid of anyone who opposes her suggestions or raise any questions about any potential purchase, out of her way. This way, she can have a free hand and an "open field" to serve her masters, her GE masters and pimps.

Anonymous said...

You need someone from industry to come forward with documents that prove wrong-doing.

Mike Volpe mentioned frequent hits from Lahey. If he can tell us, are there frequent hits from Butte and Pittsburgh?

Anonymous said...

Siemens has had some bribery issues. I wonder whether Chacko's name ever comes up in court documents for Siemens?

mike volpe said...

I can tell you about all of my visitors, which is also publicly available. In any case, I get frequent hits from the VA system though the VA, I believe, uses a central server. As such, I don't know how many are from the Pittsburgh VA. I can tell you my sources within the Pittsburgh VA tell me that I have been well read. There's also some hits from all over Montana, though I haven't noticed any from the St. James server.

Anonymous said...

How a radiologist explained Chacko's personality to me a couple of years ago: "She could be your best friend one day and your worst enemy the next with nothing having occurred inbetween."

Anonymous said...

When she goes from best friend to worst enemy, things actually happen in her own sick mind, insane imagination, and may be crazy dreams. Another proof of a psychopath personality. Only she hears, sees,and imagines things, then it becomes her reality. I may also add that her paranoia makes her react to her brain's storms, and destroys everything on her path.
Very strange, but an excellent case study.

Anonymous said...

Rate Dr. Anna Chacko anonymously at www.eBossWatch.com.

S.Van Maarion said...

Toxic bosses are a huge problem that don't have easy solutions. It is important that people keep talking about it and coming up with new ways to fight back. Managerial bullying is an epidemic in our society - right on Provocateur for shedding some light on this important issue!
For more info, check out www.workplacewhisperer.ca