Veteranclaims’s Blog

December 16, 2010

Director Augusta-VA Medical Center, Rebecca Wiley Reassigned

VA said “the reason for appointing Pittman was because of “a number of recent operational issues” at the Augusta VA. The statement cites her “extensive knowledge of Sterile Processing and Distribution operations and experience as a VA nurse.”

The Augusta VA has had a number of problems in the last two years with sterilizing equipment. Earlier this year, The Augusta Chronicle uncovered an e-mail from April 2008 pointing out problems in following sterilizing procedures and recommending that the use of flexible endoscopes stop until the problems were corrected.

Those recommendations were apparently not followed”

Full Article at: Augusta VA director is temporarily reassigned
By Tom Corwin
Staff Writer
Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

The director of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center is being temporarily reassigned and an acting director is being appointed to help the Augusta VA improve its operations, the VA announced Wednesday.

Rebecca Wiley has been assigned for 120 days to the VA’s Southeast Network office to “assist with a special project” at the office “related to VA’s 21st Century transformation initiatives,” according to a VA statement. Patricia Pittman, director of the W.J.B. Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, was named acting director for the Augusta VA. Toby Rose of the VA in Manchester, N.H., was named associate director.

The VA statement said the reason for appointing Pittman was because of “a number of recent operational issues” at the Augusta VA. The statement cites her “extensive knowledge of Sterile Processing and Distribution operations and experience as a VA nurse.”

The Augusta VA has had a number of problems in the last two years with sterilizing equipment. Earlier this year, The Augusta Chronicle uncovered an e-mail from April 2008 pointing out problems in following sterilizing procedures and recommending that the use of flexible endoscopes stop until the problems were corrected.

Those recommendations were apparently not followed, but VA officials insist it would not have headed off problems that surfaced nearly seven months later, in November 2008, when a patient at the Augusta VA noticed an endoscope in the ear, nose and throat clinic was not being sterilized properly. That led to problems being uncovered in two other VAs and the VA notified more than 10,000 veterans they might have been exposed to improperly sterilized equipment. Subsequent testing uncovered more than 50 infections in veterans, ranging from HIV to hepatitis C, but the VA has said it was unlikely the infections resulted from the improperly sterilized equipment.

More recently, the Augusta VA halted all elective surgeries in November after it was found that procedures weren’t being followed in the sterilization of surgical equipment, although officials said it did not result in patients being exposed to improperly cleaned equipment. As a precaution, all of the equipment was sterilized again and elective procedures resumed days later. Augusta VA is adding a new automated equipment tracking system and upgrading its surgical equipment as well.”

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1 Comment »

  1. i certainly hope the new Pittman is able to maintain the amazing efficiency and well run status of the current facilities and that this is not political. A recent visit showed a very well run facility all around. Very impressed. Hope rocking boat and change doesn’t change this.

    Comment by karen strickland — July 16, 2012 @ 9:45 pm


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