UPDATE: Please also check out my new book, The Definitive Dossier on PTSD in Whistleblowers, for only $3.95, in which I dedicate chapter four entirely to the exploits of Dr. Anna Chacko.Here's part of an email from Dr. Chacko to a colleague in Afghanistan.
this is a voice from the past. You may remember me from the past at BAMC. I had the pleasure of speaking with your Exec - seems very nice.
I retired from the Army in 2001 and went to work at the Lahey Clinic for five years as the Chair of Radiology, then went to Boston University as the Vice-Chair of the Radiology Department. I was hoping to retire in Montana and run a small department for the University - but it did not pan out - they fired the CEO (who was a delightful person and actually had a great vision) - so four of us from the Army left and joined the VA. I was recruited to address the issues of corruption and fraud and bring the radiology department into some kind of order. This has been a dreadful mistake and all they really wanted was someone with military credentials to rubber stamp their fraud. Some of the perps hired a blogger to write some unbelievable trash about me on the internet. I am merely telling you this since I don't want you to blind-sided. The FBI is handling this part of the case. Long story short, I am leaving - however not without getting the Office of Special Counsel to come in to take corrective action with the VA. I would like to be able to serve in Afghanistan to help run a hospital as well as do some radiology. I am enclosing a copy of my CV for your perusal. In order for me to go as retired recalled - you would have to get several waivers - which might be difficult given my age (65+) and my weight (quite a lot). I would be happy to work as a civilian or with an NGO. I am fluent in Urdu and lived in a Muslim country all my childhood and part of my adult life. It is painful to see what happens to the veterans when they come back especially at the hospital where I have been working.
Please let me know how I can help.
Thank you Anna
Anna K. Chacko MD
That is a transcription sent from Dr. Anna Chacko at her personal hotmail email to Colonel Jonathon Jaffin of Medical Command or MEDCOM. MEDCOM's duties include recommending jobs in military hospitals.
In this email, Dr. Anna Chacko is reaching out to Colonel Jaffin in the hopes of landing a job running a hospital in Afghanistan. The substance of this email however is what makes Dr. Anna Chacko the compelling figure that she is. The blogger is me. Dr. Chacko claims that I have been hired by her enemies to write nasty things about her. That is not true. I have been hired by no one though I do have sources within the Pittsburgh VA. I have also not yet been contacted by the FBI in this matter. Knowing that Jaffin, like everyone, has access to Google, Chacko knows that he would invariably find my articles and this is a great way of spinning reality on its head.
For instance, Dr. Chacko says she spent five years working as head of radiology at Lahey Clinic. What she doesn't say was that she was carried out of that hospital upon her termination by security and all the while she screamed
Kiss my big Indian Ass
She also doesn't mention that she left the Boston University Medical Center following complaints of sexual harassment.
Dr. Chacko also claims that she wanted to retire and work in a quiet hospital in Montana but that the CEO that hired her was let go and so she moved on. Again, reality was spun on its head. The CEO she refers to is James Kiser. Dr. Chacko arrived at St. James Hospital in Butte, Montana in July of 2007. Kiser "resigned" in March of 2008.
James Kiser, president and chief executive officer of St. James Healthcare, resigned Friday “with a heavy heart.” Kiser, 45, said he is leaving his post because his presence may be perpetuating long-brewing animosity between the hospital and area doctors.
“I felt it was time for a change for myself and my family, but also for the hospital,” he said.
Kiser, who joined St. James in 2002, faced challenges uniting doctors and the hospital, who have disagreed over competing outpatient services.
In fact, his resignation was due in large part to the deteriorating profits of St. James. Those profits deteriorated due in large part to the deteriorating profits in the radiology department. That's the same radiology department run by Dr. Anna Chacko at the time. Furthermore, while Kiser left in March, Chacko didn't leave until September.
All four doctors working in the radiology department at St. James Healthcare in Butte have quit and are being replaced by a Helena outfit.
Dr. Anna Chacko, the hospital's director of radiology, told The Montana Standard she has accepted a job with the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System in western Pennsylvania.
The hospital system cares for veterans from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. Chacko will serve as chair and regional director of radiology.
At the time Chacko left, the radiology department at St. James was deep in red. They are now on the brink of defaulting on millions of dollars of radiology equipment she purchased. All of this, of course, wasn't mentioned in the email.
As for her time in the Pittsburgh VA, I don't know if she was hired on to "root out corruption". Given her colorful past, that would be rather ironic. I do know, however, that not once but twice an administrative investigative board heard testimony regarding her behavior and twice such a board recommended she be removed. Dr. Chacko has continually claimed that she was targeted because she was attempting to root out corruption. In fact, that's what Chacko convinced Congressman Miller in the spring last year because that's what he said to General Shinseki in this letter.
Senate Letter 2009-05-19 -
Much like in this situation, Dr. Chacko spun reality on its head to Congressman Brad Miller and as a result he sent that letter to General Shinseki. It is her ability to spin reality on its head that makes her endlessly fascinating to me. Beyond that, she is now a national security threat. Under no circumstance can she be allowed to enter the theater in Afghanistan. I can only imagine what she might do there. Soldiers lives will be put in danger if somehow the proper vetting isn't done and she is given the proper waivers and given work there. The revelation of this email gives this story significantly more urgency.