Head of Cincinnati VA hospital suspended without pay: 10 things to know

Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center's Acting Chief of Staff Barbara Temeck, MD, has officially been suspended from the role, without pay, according to a Cincinnati Business Courier report.

Here are 10 things to know:

1. Dr. Temeck was named acting chief of staff in 2013, but was removed from the role in February 2016, pending administrative action. The removal came soon after serious allegations of wrongdoing perpetrated by Dr. Temeck came to light.

2. In February, a group of 34 current and former staff members sent an unsigned letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald expressing their urgent concerns about the state of care at the Cincinnati VA.

3. Allegations against Dr. Temeck were varied. There were reports that she prescribed controlled substances to spouses of colleagues without a valid substance license.

4. The whistleblowers also alleged that Dr. Temeck told operating room staff they were being "too picky" after reporting surgical instruments being brought into ORs with blood and bone chips from prior surgeries.

5. Additionally, there were reports of delayed and substandard care at the medical center. One veteran describes being turned away when he needed hip surgery. He was told that the hospital no longer employed hip surgeons.

6. The VA launched an investigation into the incident, and asked the Office of Inspector General to launch an additional investigation.

7. A Cincinnati.com report notes that after Dr. Temeck's removal, she kept her title but was relegated to a data-entry job at the medical center. Ralph Panos, MD, replaced her as acting chief of staff.

8. Dr. Temeck could also be facing felony charges for the improper prescribing of controlled substances "outside the scope of her DEA license," according to Cincinnati.com. The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio could ask a grand jury to indict her.

9. Dr. Temeck's lawyer stated that Dr. Temeck will appeal the suspension, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier.

10. The proposed discharge notice indicated that "the suspension didn't involve a question of professional conduct or competence," the Cincinnati Business Courier reports.

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