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Wed Jun 2, 2021, 07:50 PM

VA leaders in Arkansas allowed impaired pathologist to harm hundreds of veterans, watchdog finds

Related: Pathology Oversight Failures at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Arkansa (Dept. of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General)

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Source: Washington Post

‘Devastating, tragic, and deadly’: VA leaders in Arkansas allowed impaired pathologist to harm hundreds of veterans, watchdog finds

By Lisa Rein
June 2, 2021 at 3:59 p.m. EDT

Oversight failures, a fearful workplace culture and lax quality standards for years at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Arkansas allowed a pathologist who was routinely drunk on the job to misdiagnose thousands of veterans — sometimes with dire or deadly consequences, a new investigation has found.

Hospital leaders “failed to promote a culture of accountability” that would have led more of the doctor’s colleagues to come forward with accounts that his behavior was putting patients at risk, according to the report released Wednesday by VA’s Office of Inspector General. But the staff members at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville feared that reporting their concerns would lead to retaliation from their bosses.

“Any one of these breakdowns could cause harmful results,” Inspector General Michael Missal’s staff wrote in an 86-page report about the failures to stop the pathologist, Robert Morris Levy. “Together and over an extended period of time, the consequences were devastating, tragic, and deadly.”

For more than a decade, hospital officials led by Levy’s supervisor, former chief of staff Mark Worley, ignored red flags that allowed the pathologist to make tragic mistakes, delaying medical care for cancers and other illnesses for some veterans and leading to unnecessary treatment for others, the report said.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/va-inspector-general-pathologist/2021/06/02/cbcf2272-c333-11eb-9a8d-f95d7724967c_story.html

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