Feds open investigation at Cincinnati VA Medical Center

The Department of Veterans Affairs has opened two new investigations into the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, one concerning its medical operations and the other probing allegations of possible misconduct, according to a Cincinnati.com report.

While there is little detail regarding the nature or scope of the investigations, the VA did disclose it was shifting leadership for the Cincinnati VA Medical Center from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh.

Jack Hetrick has overseen the VA's network of 11 facilities in Ohio since 2006. In October, he took on additional oversight responsibilities to include VA facilities in Michigan and Indiana. Although he remains in charge of those regions, Mr. Hetrick said in a phone interview Saturday that his oversight of the Cincinnati VA Medical Center has been transferred to Pittsburgh during the VA's investigations, according to the report.

Mr. Hetrick could not provide many details about the investigations, but did say "[t]hey have been reviewing a number of employee allegations about certain things at the hospital. I cannot get too much into it. It's part of the what the Washington review is looking at," according to the report.

A VA statement Saturday said its office of the medical inspector began its investigation at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center on Tuesday. In a second statement, the VA said its office of the inspector general "is launching an investigation at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. The OIG investigation was initiated at the request of the VA," according to the report.

Neither statement disclosed what the investigators are inspecting. However, it appears the investigations were prompted by questions from reporters with WCPO in Cincinnati and the Scripps Washington Bureau who found "alleged conflicts of interest with VISN 10 leadership" at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center in their own investigation. 

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