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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

For one VA whistleblower, getting fired was too much

By Donovan Slack
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com
Originally posted April 12, 2015

Here are two excerpts:

There, officers found the body of Christopher Kirkpatrick, a 38-year-old clinical psychologist who had shot himself in the head after being fired from the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Kirkpatrick had complained some of his patients were too drugged to treat properly, but like other whistleblowers at the facility, he was ousted and his concerns of wrongdoing were disregarded.

Retaliation against whistleblowers has become a major problem at VA facilities across the country. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating 110 retaliation claims from whistleblowers in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

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VA officials said since Kirkpatrick's death, the agency has implemented online whistleblower training for 32,000 managers and executives at the agency, and now requires all employees to take a course every other year that includes a component about whistleblower rights. VA spokeswoman Genevieve Billia said notices of termination should contain language informing the affected employee of those rights. She did not respond to a message asking if that was mandatory.

The entire article is here.