Buy My Book Here

Fox News Ticker

Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dr. Anna Chacko and Saul Alinsky

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. 

Anyone who has watched even five minutes of Glenn Beck knows that he has no use for the current President of the United States. If you've watched him for ten minutes, you also know that he has no use for Saul Alinsky, the famed community organizer and author of Rules for Radicals. Beck is especially fond of harping on two of Alinsky's techniques. First is his rule number thirteen.

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.

The second involves throwing out so much information all at once into the media that it distracts from your true intentions.

Obama perfected the tactics that so-called community organizers like ACORN use every day. It's the tactic of misdirection.
The community organizer mentality — the ACORN mentality — is to distract you from their main goal, so even though some people are looking at their voter registration fraud, we should follow the money, too.
While politicians talk about 46 million people without health care, what's their real agenda? And what's the effect on the 255 million with health care?

Both these strategies should be kept in mind as I again analyze the tale of Dr. Anna Chacko. In October of 2008, Dr. Anna Chacko arrived in Pittsburgh to work at the VA hospital there. She arrived there following a fourteen month stint at St. James Hospital in Butte, Mt. Prior to that, she spent just over a year at the Boston University Medical Center in Boston. That means that Pittsburgh would be her third job in her third city since 2006. At this time, Dr. Anna Chacko was 64 years old.
Almost immediately, there were complaints about Dr. Chacko. These complaints were filed by members of the administration like Dr. Mona Melham. They were also filed by members of the radiology department. The complaints included accusations that Dr. Chacko threatened legal resident aliens with calls to immigration if they crossed her. There were allegations of threats, lies, and bullying behavior. One doctor complained that Dr. Chacko called their other employer and spread lies about them there.
This is not merely accusations made by me. In fact, radiologists testified to all these threats in not one but two investigative boards held against Dr. Chacko by the Pittsburgh VA. In January of 2009, a doctor working at the Pittsburgh VA slipped in their driveway and fell. She thought her wrist was broken when she came to work at the Pittsburgh VA. Dr. Mona Melham approved for this doctor to have her wrist x rayed even though she was an employee and not a patient.
Upon hearing this, Dr. Chacko complained to the Inspector General's office of the VA and claimed that Dr. Melham committed fraud. She then demanded that an administrative investigative board be formed to determine if Dr. Melham be removed. Only by then, Dr. Chacko had alienated most of the radiology department that the Pittsburgh VA held an ABI to determine if Dr. Chacko herself should be removed herself. That's exactly what the board recommended in March.
Then, Dr. Chacko hired a lawyer and reached out to Congressman Brad Miller of North Carolina. Congressman Miller had his own history with both the Pittsburgh VA and Dr. Melham. He'd conducted an investigation into this Pittsburgh VA over some destroyed strands of legionella in 2006 and determined that Dr. Melham had acted with malice in destroying them. It appears that Dr. Chacko had in fact convinced Congressman Brad Miller to side with her because on May 15th, 2009 he wrote to General Shinseki on her behalf.

Senate Letter 2009-05-19[1][1][1] -
After this Dr. Chacko was given her job back and returned on August 1st, 2009. Her behavior didn't improve and several employees of the Pittsburgh VA began reaching out to her former colleagues at St. James. One such employee, using a dummy email account, reached out to an individual with whom I was communicating. They became my first source on the story.

I wrote my first article on September 2nd, 2009, and wrote several more throughout the month of September. At the end of September, Dr. Chacko was put on indefinite administrative leave and terminated the following March. This time her political friends wouldn't stand up for her, and Congressman Miller would only explain his involvement this way.

Miller said he wrote the letter because "it appeared that a VA hospital which was given to infighting was proceeding in the same way again."
He said the 2008 investigation showed management at the Pittsburgh VA "appeared to be chaotic and a very valuable collection was destroyed out of spite."
The congressman said the Legionella investigation concluded that local VA officials "proceeded in the wrong direction for the wrong reasons."
He said that assuming the VA followed proper procedures in Chako's termination, he did not plan further involvement.
Neither Miller nor Shinseki have ever responded to my repeated requests for comment about their involvement with Chacko. Since her termination, Dr. Chacko has reached out to anyone with a sympathetic ear with claims that she's a whistleblower and that she was only fired as retaliation. First, she found a sympathetic ear in Dr. Vijay Mehta who allowed her to publish a manifesto on his site detailing the charges made by her against the Pittsbugh VA. Curiously, Dr. Chacko demanded that he take this manifesto down when Roche reported on it in the Pittsburgh Tribune.
Then, Congressman and Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak referenced Chacko in his press release for his bill the Transparency for Heroes Act.

Until March of 2010, Dr. Pamela Gray was a rheumatologist at the Hampton VAMC. It is her contention that she was subsequently terminated as a VA employee as a result of her actions to stop the over-prescription of Schedule II narcotics. Dr. Gray joins Dr. Anna Chacko formerly of the Pittsburgh VAMC and Dr. Robert Van Boven formerly of the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System in alleging retaliation for exposing practices they believed negatively affected patient care. I respect the fact that these physicians put their careers and reputations at risk to advance the treatment of our Veterans.

Then, the radiology website, Aunt Minnie, wrote a largely sympathetic article in which her charge were listed in detail while my charges against her were characterized and retold like this,

But what's more, it characterized her as a "psychopath" and included a laundry list of accusations that included salacious details allegedly drawn from Chacko's personal life.

While systematically listing the charges, the author, Brian Casey, failed to mention that one of them, Chacko's assertion that thallium was being used to great harm to the patients, was investigated by the VA IG and it was found that there was no problem. Furthermore, the article failed to mentioned that Dr. Chacko has financial interest in Moly99Montana, a company which manufactures molybdenum, which just happens to compete with thallium.
Chacko has also received support from others including those that go onto my site. In a recent posting, someone identifying themselves as FBI said this.

Keep the entertainment go on while Moreland is forced to taking early retirement, Mona Melhem is forced to step down from ACOS and Jain is detailed against his wishes in DC. You follow the money{hope you are getting paid from one of the above}, she follows the money, the above members are following the money, the veterans suffer and the truth is lost. For some of us who witness this daily at VA, it is just an entertainment played by some educated fools called Radiologists, Pathologists, investigative journOlists and of course the dietitians at VAPHS.

Shame to all of the above for bragging how rightful they are while ignoring the plight of the veterans. Watch Veterans watchdog for more entertainement and 60 minutes!!!

All of it is meant as misdirection. Chacko is attempting to go after the Pittsburgh VA because they're an easy target. After all, the VA system has a history of corruption. The Pittsburgh VA itself has been the subject of a congressional inquiry. She dumps all sorts of charges in their lap. It's all very Alinsky like. Pick a target, isolate, freeze them, and escalate. It's all beside the point. Corruption in the VA, and at the Pittsburgh VA specifically, is not the issue. The charges against Chacko have nothing to do with corruption but bullying, lying and manipulating.

Furthermore, and much more importantly, the Pittsburgh Va is not the first place where these charges have been made. While at St. James, the radiology manager, Kristi George, also claimed that Dr. Chacko was attacking her in a systematic attempt to sully her reputation so that George would get fired. In fact, Kristi George filed charges against St. James, while both she and Chacko, were still working there.
5[1][1].29.09 Second Amended Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial

In this complaint, George says that Chacko's attacks became so brutal that she had to take a leave of absence in order to seek psychological help. Furthermore, Chacko began to attack Kristi George before they'd technically even worked together. Chacko's first day, Kristi George was still on vacation but that didn't stop Chacko from going around the hospital and complaining that Kristi George was incompetent. This case was eventually settled and the dispostition sealed. It's one of five lawsuits involving Chacko during her time at St. James. She was only there for fourteen months.

Then, there's Linda Murphy, the only person that would put their name to charges against Dr. Anna Chacko. Murphy is Chacko's former secretary at St. James. Murphy told me that Chacko would routinely call her at 2 or 3 in the morning and demand that she get out of bed to fix Chacko's computer or other minor task. If Murphy didn't answer the phone, Chacko would call over and over until she did.

On one occasion, Murphy went on a three day vacation with her son right before he went to college. Murphy told me that Chacko called her repeatedly, forced her to come back a day early, and then made her work a sixteen hour day upon returning. Murphy says that she suffered a systematic psychological torture at the hands of Dr. Anna Chacko. Not coincidentally, the daughter of another of Chacko's secretary's describes a similar experience.

My mom worked for this tyrant, as her admin, for 3.5 years (mom always makes us add the .5 to the 3 yrs as it was torture working for her!). She absolutely sucked the life out of my mother. She finally got relief when AKC was removed from Lahey Clinic. I was not aware that anyone knew how evil this woman is and am relieved to know that the word is spreading. My whole family suffered as a result of the way she treated my mom as well as other co-workers.

According to Murphy, when she was fired, she was told that she was being fired because

You know too much about Anna(Chacko)

Then, there's this story retold to me by a radiologist at Lahey Clinic, where Dr. Chacko worked from 2001-2006.

The resident, an American educated daughter of immigrant Indian professionals, was a resident in Radiology in our department from July 01 to June 05 and had first hand trauma from her. She made a minor error, tiny and not clinically significant. But she had resisted Dr. Chacko's effort to make a big deal out of it. She did not become
subservient and grovel. At the next staff meeting, the resident was assigned to attend and Dr. Chacko laid into her, called her lazy, careless, stupid, etc. We, the staff, sat in horror, too amazed to speak up. We looked at each other in shock, and just as we were about to say enough, lets move on, she stopped and discussed another issue. But she swung that issue around to residents and then began the attack this resident anew. We were too shocked to say anything, we looked around like “are we hearing this correctly, this is too much”. We were whispering and about to say move on when she stopped, started on another item. The item was again artificially swung to residents in general and then on to this resident again. We again listened and were about to speak up and the cycle repeated itself 6 or 7 times, each time a shorter echo but no less personally violent.

The target, now working in a hospital just outside Chicago, confirmed this story to me.

Mike, I remember it like it was yesterday

She, like most people, refused to give her name, however.

Finally, there is another former colleague of Chacko's. This doctor also worked with Chacko at Lahey Clinic. They confided in me that they thought of committing suicide after Chacko repeatedly attempted to have their license revoked by repeated complaints to the Massachusetts Medical Board. This doctor hired a private investigator and had to get a second job just to pay to defend themselves against Chacko's charges.

There are thousands of stories like this, from hospitals all around the country. So, of course, Dr. Chacko would like everyone to talk about the corruption at the Pittsburgh VA. That way no one notices a long and documented history of abuse, blackmail, lying, and many other misdeeds.


This is to all my sources, commenters, and so called cheer leaders. I'm told I'm a rock star at the Pittsburgh VA. I believe the same is true at St. James and at Lahey. That's nice. It's also largely irrelevant. I will protect anyone's anonymity to my grave. I will go to jail before I reveal an anonymous source.

That said, hiding behind anonymity as everyone, short of Linda Murphy, has done is cowardly and all it does is put me in the crosshairs. That's fine, but the truth will never be revealed until someone has the courage to stand up and speak on the record.

I recently spoke to an individual at the Pittsburgh VA who didn't want to do that saying that just wanted to do their job. That's fine. No one signs up to take on Dr. Anna Chacko. I'd just point you all to Emery Joe Yost. He was a Chicago park district instructor when one day he noticed that Kevin Long was exposing himself. He reported Long to authorities and this started a ten year nightmare. It ended when the same Kevin Long was caught with several knives in the Daley Plaza a couple months back. He didn't sign up to be in the eye of the storm of a significantly mentally disturbed individual. He didn't flinch when it happened. That makes him courageous. Hiding behind anonymity is cowardly. As Shakespeare once said,

some men are born great, some develop greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.

Greatness has been thrust upon you, and someone has to respond to the call. If you think it doesn't matter, that everyone already knows who she is, there's a thread right now on Aunt Minnie defending her.

Here's the full dossier of Dr. Anna Chacko.


Anonymous said...

Mike- Thanks for a great job on Chacko- obviously she has her cheering section. But the VA is filled with people like her committing crimes and who are hurting vets. In Milwaukee, there were five doctors who apparently tried to coverup gross medical errors and the Inspector General was called and released the following report


It appears that gross medical malpractice was performed by 2 radiologists, a radiation oncologist, a surgeon , and an internal medicine doctor. You might say a comedy of medical errors except the patient died.

Veterans sacrifice their lives at the war front and to get this type of care at home is immoral. Loyal Americans are losing the war in protecting veteran patients. Maybe you could look into this, apparently nobody got fired or reprimanded. I have heard that the head of the VISN and the imaging department for the VISN is involved.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Chacko is a vindictive malignant person who is an incompetent physician and a manager. She was not a friend of the Veterans - she only wanted to promote her own interests. Buying millions of dollars of unneccessary eqipment at the VA- WHY? So she can get kickbacks?

The whole radiology department at the VAPHS knows that and can confirm for you. It is not easy to fire a physician at the VA and especially one as politically connected as her.
VA employees are not allowed to talk with the press so no one with speak up.
Please look at all the comments all over the country and its obvious what she is.
It is only because of Mike that everyone realized what happened at the VAPHS is not an isolated incident.

mike volpe said...

VAPHS being the acronym for the VA Hospital in Pittsburgh.

I still urge anyone reading this with something to add to come out of the shadows and say it on the record.

curious said...

anonymous....would you please enlighten us with what equipment she bought at VAPHS and how many GE scanners are purchased ?

mike volpe said...

That hasn't been updated in a while but that's an idea.

Anonymous said...

The 4 million dollar worth of GE equipment that had been ordered by her was cancelled as soon as she was not in charge thus saving millions of VA money which can be used to actually BENEFIT and HELP veterans.

Anonymous said...

As an update. Shah still works at the VAPHS. Most people avoid him as they believe he still has contact with Chacko. I have also heard but can't confirm that Chacko had sued for wrongful termination and within the past few weeks won over four million dollars.