Thom Stoddert
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Evidence Is Everything With the VA
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Stoddert Assignment Berlin
The ABC’s of Individual Unemployability
      Care With Compassion?

   The problems at the Army Medical Department at Beaumont are just the tip of the iceberg. TV station (KVIA) in El Paso, TX reported,  “The documents {they collected} outline a troubling pattern in practice at the Beaumont hospital of what appears to be favoritism given to relatives and friends of higher-ups over at the hospital,” Smith said.”Wodarz's awards are not the only practices in question. Molina's management assistant is Armida Almager. The records show Almager's son, Andrew Garcia, was directly hired as a nurse consultant in Molina's department days after his 23rd birthday this year. Garcia was hired as a Grade/Level 11, Step/Rate 05, with an annual pay of $71,600.” Similar situations have been reported elsewhere, specifically at Madigan Army Medical Center.

  There are great numbers of good hardworking people at Madigan, soldiers and civilians alike, striving hard to meet the care needs of a most deserving population- our active and retired soldiers, their spouses and children; yet they are working in a contentious and sometimes hostile environment. The following is an extreme example:

  The redacted investigation of Madigan’s commander Homas was finally released and rightly exonerated him of any wrong doing. However, it also revealed that he was ordered to deal with the “barons,” by MG Volpe. These “barons” were discussed by COL. Homas in the AR 15-6 investigation on page 16. “Gen Volpe’s biggest concern was the “barons” as he called them. Barons are individuals who have been at Madigan for decades and are comfortable in their positions and not necessarily working as hard as they should be working.”

  Other statements by former Madigan staff detail how AHLTA, the patient’s appointment program is unduly changed by Physician Assistant Parham to cancel appointments so she can have more free time. The PA then marked the patients as no-shows. Still another employee described how PA Parham asked a medical assistant to schedule 40 minute patient contact periods just to remove toe nails. This is just a ten minute procedure. This practice reduces the time made available for more important procedures such a cancer biopsies.

  RN, Bob Salinger agreed that these tactics, among others, are frequently practiced by certain clinicians to free up their schedule and work less. Their coworkers keep their mouths shut for fear of retribution. The question begs to be asked, if the clerks, nurse managers, and Western Regional Medical Command know of these practices, where are the department administration officers, the Risk Management office, the Quality Services chief, the Department and Clinic Chiefs and physician leadership? Answer: they may be the “barons” as numerous emails, statements, and documents have repeatedly pointed out for almost all of the departments and sections.

  We have been contacted numerous times by employees seeking help while they are in fear of retaliation by people like Ann Horrell, Margie Belton, Dr. Jason Davis and COL Yoest. All complaints have been documented with copies spread around. Dr. Davis was fined in federal court for kickbacks and never placed under UCMJ for those actions and the retaliation enacted against several people. Enlisted soldiers have been court marshaled for less.  Here are some actions for the good employees to take that will help them in difficult situations:

1) Keep a diary. Document everything said to you, noting the person, time, place and issues, good or bad. This is an invaluable tool. It keeps your memory fresh. It allows for others to collaborate with you. It allows you give the best documentation in your own defense. Lastly, it scares the ethically challenged to know that their subordinates are recording everything.

2) Keep a trusted confidant informed. This is so useful. It can build life time friendships. It helps to moderate your feelings to be more pragmatic. It also provides a witness if need be. If there is an investigation it provides the command with greater credible evidence.

3) Save all correspondence. I was shown a binder full of emails and other documents, one could not argue against the contents and it could certainly help COL. Homas in his attempts to rid the facility of the military and civilian oxygen thieves. An example of this would be information generated in the normal work day, such as how AND why, the Patient’s Advocacy Office was removed from under Lisa Danforth-Lewis and later she was given supervision of the Impaired Provider Program. By the way, Lewis was working at Madigan in 1992 when I was newly assigned there. I was warned about her and her vengeful tactics way back then. Word gets around fast. Everyone knows who the “barons” are.

4) Be aware that the ethically challenged supervisor often will get a staff member so worked up and agitated that the individual is written up for insubordination. Counter this ploy by keeping your mouth shut, smiling, and apply the tactics in paragraphs 1-2-3. If it continues, seek redress through the Chain of Command, and document every step of the way.

5) Know that copying or removing documents can be against regulations. However, this is not so if a crime has been committed. Hostile work environments are against the law. With that said - knowledge that the baron’s favorites are receiving bonuses while others are placed on furlough or denied awards because of fiscal cutbacks is building a toxic work place. Many kinds of hiring and promotion shenanigans, uneven application of discipline, favoritism, timecard tomfoolery, etc. violate Federal Labor laws and OPM regs. Document them in bulletproof ways and demand action.

6) Explore and find avenues to support good colleagues, especially supervisors. It will make for a more successful completion of the mission - safe medical care. Build mutual support with hardworking colleagues and look out for one another.

  It is a tragedy that so many special people have to work extra hard under conditions at Madigan in order to provide safe and effective care. They don’t need empty mottos, “Care with Compassion” or vain, self-promoting promises of “a world class health care delivery system.” These only make people angry or lose respect for the institute because of the obvious hypocrisy.
- Thom Stoddert

Thom Stoddert, former VA Rating Specialist
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How the VA Does Not Work
Saudi Syndrome from a VA
Finding Supporting Evidence
Healing, Reunions and Branson, MO
The Rating Schedule and Special Monthly Compensation
Ordinary Info that Every One Screws Up!
Scams & VA Benefits       Part 1
Scams & VA Benefits       Part 2
Scams & VA Benefits       Part 3
VA Ratings Basics
VA Ratings for Hearing
VA Benefits Basics 10
Veteran’s Overcoming Common VA Errors
VA Math
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gger than Most Realize
PTSD Coach
Hearing Loss compensation
Aid and Attendance, Pension, Without Strings Attached
I Hope This Upsets You!
Special Cases of Unemployability
Corruption At Madigan
An Informative War Memorial Torpedoed By Pettiness & Politics
Nigerian Banker's Corruption Surpassed by Army Hospitals
It’s All About the Evidence
Scams, Shams, and Deceit
Scams, Shams, and Deceit
Madigan Problems