Can Anyone Really Fix The Indian Health Service’s Chronic, Life-Threatening Problems? One Man Is Hoping He Can.
Rear Adm. Weahkee, who tried to turn around a foundering IHS hospital in South Dakota, has been nominated to take over the agency that has been plagued with staffing shortages, quality of care complaints, allegations of abuse, and more. Several Native American groups have expressed support for Adm. Weahkee’s nomination. His Senate confirmation hearing is set for Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal:
Six CEOs And No Operating Room: The Impossible Job Of Fixing The Indian Health Service
Three years ago, the U.S. Indian Health Service needed a savior for its hospital in Rosebud, S.D. The federal health-care agency was forced to shut down the emergency department under pressure from federal regulators. Capt. Michael Weahkee seemed the man for the job, having run the IHS’s flagship hospital in Phoenix. He launched quality-improvement efforts and got the hospital’s emergency department running again, before departing later that year to resume his Phoenix post. He signed off with a laudatory email to the Rosebud hospital staff: “For those of you who have weathered this storm, I salute you.” (Wilde Mathews and Weaver, 12/10)
In other administration news —
U.S. Pays $7 Million To Veterans Who Were Sexually Molested At The Leavenworth VA Hospital
Eighty-two veterans who were sexually abused by a former physician assistant at the VA hospital in Leavenworth have settled their lawsuits against the government for nearly $7 million. The physician assistant, Mark Wisner, was convicted in 2017 of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated criminal sodomy and sentenced to 15 years and seven months in prison. At his jury trial, four former patients at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center testified that Wisner had groped and molested them while giving them physical exams. (Margolies, 12/10)