UPDATE: Please also check out my new book, The Definitive Dossier on PTSD in Whistleblowers, in which I dedicate chapter four entirely to the exploits of Dr. Anna Chacko.
The Pittsburgh Tribune has the story.
A letter to Shinseki from Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., centers on allegations from a former VA physician who says he was forced out of the agency in retaliation for raising questions about money for brain injuries, the "signature injury" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center reports 10 percent to 20 percent of troops with combat exposure there suffered concussions from roadside bombs.
Then, there are parallels drawn between this and Dr. Anna Chacko.
Van Boven's case appears to parallel that of radiologist Anna Chacko, who says VA officials ousted her from her post at the Pittsburgh VA facility in Oakland after she questioned spending and treatment practices.
I'm left confused. After all in May of 2009, the same Congressman Miller said this of Dr. Anna Chacko.
Senate Letter 2009-05-19 -
Then as Chacko was about to get terminated in January of this year, he said this.
He said that assuming the VA followed proper procedures in Chako's termination, he did not plan further involvement.
Chacko had been suspended from her job in the spring but was reinstated in late summer, only to be placed on administrative leave in October. The termination letter was issued last week.
While they have declined to comment on the issues leading to Chacko's suspension and termination, VA officials said an internal investigation refuted claims by Chacko that patient care might have been compromised by excessive radiation during treatments.
So, does Congressman Miller think that proper procedures were followed in the case of Dr. Chacko? It was apparently neither asked or answered. Miller does hint at it in the latest article.
Miller said told the Tribune-Review he is troubled by "an emerging pattern" of VA administrators using boards of inquiry to punish and silence whistleblowers.If that's the case why didn't he step in before Chacko was fired? That was also neither asked nor answered. Here is the statement from Senator Burr's office about the "emerging pattern" that Congressman Miller spoke about.
"I would encourage the VA to look into whether the process is being abused," he said.
The “emerging pattern” that Rep. Miller referenced in his comments to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review were made independently of the specific issues raised jointly by Sen. Burr and Rep. Miller in the letter to Gen. Shinseki. I strongly suggest you take up your concerns with Rep. Miller’s staff as they may have more insight into the reasoning for Rep. Miller’s comments.
Here's the full letter that Burr and Miller drafted to Shinseki and Chacko is not mentioned in it. Both Shinseki and Miller's office have yet to respond for comment.
Here's the full dossier of Anna Chacko.