Two Hines Physicians and a SocialÂ Worker Detail Misconduct
Claim Intimidation and Retaliation Block Willingness to Cooperate with Investigators
CHICAGO, IL â€“ U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)Â met with Edward J. Hines, Jr. VA Hospital whistleblowers to outline specific allegations of misconduct and corruption at the Hines VA. Germaine Clarno, a social worker at Hines VA and President of the Local 781 AFGE Union, along with two physicians (names withheld) from the Hines VA, discussed the allegations and reports of secret wait lists, falsified reports, and ongoing corruption within the VA that may have contributed to the sickness and possible deaths of Illinois veterans.
â€œThe allegations of secret wait lists and corruption within the internal workings of the Hines VA hospital is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the misconduct and systemic corruption within the VA,â€ Senator Kirk said. â€œThe stories I have heard today from these Hines employees have shown that there is little to no protection for employees that speak out against a culture of corruption and falsification of reports. Those willing to share their experience about veterans’ care should be protected from retaliation or intimidation.â€
Following todayâ€™s meeting with Physician 1, Clinician 2, and Germaine Clarno, Senator Kirk provided the following information:
- Whistleblower Physician 1 has evidence of being asked to ignore unread echocardiograms, a culture of corruption and practices of intimidation and retaliation.
- Whistleblower Clinician 2 has evidence of being asked to change/redact/revise patient records to cover up lapses in care and a culture of corruption, and practices of intimidation and retaliation.
- Germaine Clarno has provided Senator Kirk with testimonials, evidence of wait lists and manipulated scheduling practices, lapses in care, and a systemic culture of corruption, intimidation and retaliation within the Hines VA.