Witnesses At Tomah VA Hearing Describe CANCER Within VA Leadership
A joint hearing Monday on the opioid prescription scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs Tomah Wis., medical facility revealed shocking details of abuse and retaliation against whistleblowers.
Dr. David Houlihan, the hospital’s chief of staff, is at the center of the controversy. As far back as 2009, many of his patients called him “the candy man.” Representatives called for a federal probe in January after numerous deaths and reports of opioid prescription policies. (RELATED: Congressmen Demand Investigation Into Out Of Control Opioids At VA Facility)
“I truly believe that Dr. Houlihan is a dangerous man,” Dr. Noelle Johnson, a former pharmacist at the Tomah VA said at Monday’s hearing. Johnson testified that she was fired from her job after refusing to fill narcotics prescriptions which she said were irrefutably unsafe. “What makes him dangerous is his lack of respect for prescribing his medications. To this day, I still question his motives, whether it be power, negligence, monetary gain, or ignorance. Maybe all of the above.”
In one case, according to Johnson, Houlihan continued to prescribe 36 tablets a day to a known substance abuser. Johnson said that as a general rule, Tomah veterans appeared to be extremely overmedicated. In fact, Heather Simcakoski, husband of 35-year-old veteran Jason Simcakoski, who died due to mixed drug toxicity in August of 2014, said that veterans were given so much medication, reselling to the street became a regular practice.
As Heather testified, some of the patients have made so much money from selling their medication that they were able to put a down payment on a house.
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