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Walter Reed general loses his command

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  • Dr. Bill Corcoran
    Remember that this problem was not surfaced by the Army. It was surfaced by a newspaper reporter. What s wrong with this picture? What were the earlier,
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 1, 2007
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      Remember that this problem was not surfaced by the Army.
       
      It was surfaced by a newspaper reporter.
       
      What's wrong with this picture?
       
      What were the earlier, better, cheaper, safer ways to find the problem and its causes?
       
      What is it about the way the Army does business that leaves obvious problems for newspapers to find?
       
      Is this general a scapegoat?
       
      Take care,
       
      Bill Corcoran
       
      W. R. Corcoran, Ph.D., P.E.
      NSRC Corporation
      21 Broadleaf Circle
      Windsor, CT 06095-1634
      Voice and voice mail: 860-285-8779
      Fax and voice mail to e-mail: 206-350-0998
       
      Mission: Saving lives, pain, assets, and careers through thoughtful inquiry.
      Motto: If you want safety, peace, or justice, then work for competency, integrity, and transparency.
       
      Call or e-mail me to ask about the three-day Root Cause Analysis Training Workshop in Atlanta, GA, May  15-17, 2007.
      It's open to all high hazard industry professionals.
       
       
      For a complimentary subscription to our e-newsletter on root cause, organizational learning, and safety send a message to firebird.one@...

      Walter Reed general loses his command

      By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer 57 minutes ago

      The Army said Thursday that the two-star general in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been relieved of command following disclosures about inadequate treatment of wounded soldiers.

      The firing of Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, who was commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command as well as Walter Reed hospital, was announced by Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey.

      In a brief announcement, the Army said service leaders had "lost trust and confidence" in Weightman's leadership abilities "to address needed solutions for soldier outpatient care." He had headed Walter Reed since Aug. 25, 2006.

      The Army and the Defense Department launched a series of investigations after The Washington Post published a series of stories last week that documented problems in soldiers' housing and in the medical bureaucracy at Walter Reed, which has been called the Army's premier caregiver for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      After a visit to the hospital compound last Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said those found to have been responsible for the problems at Walter Reed would be "held accountable."

      On Thursday he issued a brief statement endorsing Harvey's action.

      "The care and welfare of our wounded men and women in uniform demand the highest standard of excellence and commitment that we can muster as a government," Gates said. "When this standard is not met, I will insist on swift and direct corrective action and, where appropriate, accountability up the chain of command."

      It was not clear whether Gates insisted on Weightman's firing. A Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Gates was "actively involved" in the firing decision.

      A Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said before Weightman's firing was announced that an outside review panel created by Gates was holding its first meeting Friday at the Pentagon. Headed by two former Army secretaries, Togo West and Jack Marsh, the panel is to review treatment and administrative processes at Walter Reed and at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md. Gates has instructed the group to report its findings publicly within 45 days.

      Being relieved of command means Weightman is almost certain to have lost his future in the Army.

      A native of Vermont, he graduated from West Point in 1973 and got his medical degree from the University of Vermont. He later served as the surgeon for the 82nd Airborne Division, including during Desert Storm.

      He has held a number of medical commands, including service as a leading surgeon during the initial stages of the Iraq war.

      Weightman's duties at Walter Reed will be assumed temporarily by Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, the commander of U.S. Medical Command, until a permanent replacement is found, Harvey said.

      "The Army is moving quickly to address issues regarding outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center," the announcement said.

      Last week the Army took disciplinary action against several lower-level soldiers at Walter Reed, but officials have declined to publicly confirm any details of those actions.

      The problems at Walter Reed pertain not to the quality of medical treatment for wounded soldiers but rather to the level of care for those who are well enough to be outpatients, living in Army housing at Walter Reed. One building was singled out in the Post reports as suffering from ill-repair, including mold on interior walls.

      The Army also has acknowledged problems with the system it uses to evaluate wounded soldiers in determining whether they are well enough to return to active duty.

      At a breakfast meeting with reporters Thursday, in which he refused to discuss any aspect of the Walter Reed investigations, Harvey said the Army also was reviewing conditions at its medical centers elsewhere in the country. He would not be more specific.

    • Jack Stanford
      Unfortunately, this happens to be a very good match with the March 5 issue of Newsweek which I found in our mailbox today. There is a double amputee 21 year
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 1, 2007
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        Unfortunately, this happens to be a very good match with the March 5 issue of Newsweek which I found in our mailbox today.  There is a double amputee 21 year old woman on the cover.  Here is a quote from her describing part of her experience at Walter Reed:
         
        "The day after I had my leg cut off, they left without giving me pain medication for five and a half hours."
         
        I have not read the whole story yet, though I will.  From what I have read so far (as in below), the big issue is ambulatory patients.  However, it also appears that Walter Reed is simply not able to deal with the huge number of injuries caused by IEDs and other roadside bombs.   A statement from Newsweek supports this observation:
         
        "What distinguishes this war is how many soldiers don't die - but go on to suffer the agony of their injuries."
         
        Very sad.
         
        Jack Stanford
        210 Old Chester Road
        Haddam, CT  06438-1337
         
        BSME, MSME
        PWR SRO 10218
        CT PE 14191
        Six Sigma Green Belt Cert.
         
        StanfordJ@...
        860-345-4344  (now)
        860-345-8602  (very soon)
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 4:20 PM
        Subject: [Root_Cause_State_of_the_Practice] Walter Reed general loses his command

        Remember that this problem was not surfaced by the Army.
         
        It was surfaced by a newspaper reporter.
         
        What's wrong with this picture?
         
        What were the earlier, better, cheaper, safer ways to find the problem and its causes?
         
        What is it about the way the Army does business that leaves obvious problems for newspapers to find?
         
        Is this general a scapegoat?
         
        Take care,
         
        Bill Corcoran
         
        W. R. Corcoran, Ph.D., P.E.
        NSRC Corporation
        21 Broadleaf Circle
        Windsor, CT 06095-1634
        Voice and voice mail: 860-285-8779
        Fax and voice mail to e-mail: 206-350-0998
         
        Mission: Saving lives, pain, assets, and careers through thoughtful inquiry.
        Motto: If you want safety, peace, or justice, then work for competency, integrity, and transparency.
         
        Call or e-mail me to ask about the three-day Root Cause Analysis Training Workshop in Atlanta, GA, May  15-17, 2007.
        It's open to all high hazard industry professionals.
         
         
        For a complimentary subscription to our e-newsletter on root cause, organizational learning, and safety send a message to firebird.one@ alum.MIT. edu

        Walter Reed general loses his command

        By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer 57 minutes ago

        The Army said Thursday that the two-star general in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been relieved of command following disclosures about inadequate treatment of wounded soldiers.

        The firing of Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, who was commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command as well as Walter Reed hospital, was announced by Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey.

        In a brief announcement, the Army said service leaders had "lost trust and confidence" in Weightman's leadership abilities "to address needed solutions for soldier outpatient care." He had headed Walter Reed since Aug. 25, 2006.

        The Army and the Defense Department launched a series of investigations after The Washington Post published a series of stories last week that documented problems in soldiers' housing and in the medical bureaucracy at Walter Reed, which has been called the Army's premier caregiver for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

        After a visit to the hospital compound last Friday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said those found to have been responsible for the problems at Walter Reed would be "held accountable. "

        On Thursday he issued a brief statement endorsing Harvey's action.

        "The care and welfare of our wounded men and women in uniform demand the highest standard of excellence and commitment that we can muster as a government," Gates said. "When this standard is not met, I will insist on swift and direct corrective action and, where appropriate, accountability up the chain of command."

        It was not clear whether Gates insisted on Weightman's firing. A Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Gates was "actively involved" in the firing decision.

        A Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said before Weightman's firing was announced that an outside review panel created by Gates was holding its first meeting Friday at the Pentagon. Headed by two former Army secretaries, Togo West and Jack Marsh, the panel is to review treatment and administrative processes at Walter Reed and at the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md. Gates has instructed the group to report its findings publicly within 45 days.

        Being relieved of command means Weightman is almost certain to have lost his future in the Army.

        A native of Vermont, he graduated from West Point in 1973 and got his medical degree from the University of Vermont. He later served as the surgeon for the 82nd Airborne Division, including during Desert Storm.

        He has held a number of medical commands, including service as a leading surgeon during the initial stages of the Iraq war.

        Weightman's duties at Walter Reed will be assumed temporarily by Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, the commander of U.S. Medical Command, until a permanent replacement is found, Harvey said.

        "The Army is moving quickly to address issues regarding outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center," the announcement said.

        Last week the Army took disciplinary action against several lower-level soldiers at Walter Reed, but officials have declined to publicly confirm any details of those actions.

        The problems at Walter Reed pertain not to the quality of medical treatment for wounded soldiers but rather to the level of care for those who are well enough to be outpatients, living in Army housing at Walter Reed. One building was singled out in the Post reports as suffering from ill-repair, including mold on interior walls.

        The Army also has acknowledged problems with the system it uses to evaluate wounded soldiers in determining whether they are well enough to return to active duty.

        At a breakfast meeting with reporters Thursday, in which he refused to discuss any aspect of the Walter Reed investigations, Harvey said the Army also was reviewing conditions at its medical centers elsewhere in the country. He would not be more specific.

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