Congressman Womack requests an investigation at Fayetteville VA

KNWA

WASHINGTON (KNWA) — Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He talked about the need to increase accountability and transparency at VA Medical Centers.

He spoke at length about the allegations against Dr. Robert Levy, the former Chief of Pathology at the Fayetteville VA found to be impaired on the job.

Womack called for an investigation into the actions taken by the VA to address the situation.

Womack said: “The men and women who’ve served in uniform deserve quality treatment from the facilities they rely on. Unfortunately, we witnessed blatant misconduct by a Fayetteville VA pathologist and systemic flaws that led to these outcomes. It’s a situation that isn’t unique to our community. We need clear information on the VA’s decision-making throughout this shameful situation and insight into the lack of safeguards. Our veterans deserve the highest standard of care, and proper oversight is necessary to ensuring that this conduct is never repeated.”

Following Womack’s speech, committee members said, “they would pursue an inquiry into the situation.”

Congressman Womack’s testimony as prepared can be found here and a video of his remarks can be found here.

The Fayetteville VA released the following statement:

Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks used all legal measures in its control to fire this individual as quickly as possible.

When he was found to be unsafe to work, VHSO acted quickly to remove him from clinical care, revoked his clinical privileges, and initiated an administrative and clinical review process.

VA kept Veterans and stakeholders informed regarding this issue, holding a press conference with congressional representatives in June 2018 and hosting seven community town hall meetings since then.

Wanda Shull, Public Affairs Officer

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