Tomah VA acting director implements changes - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tomah VA acting director implements changes

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The Tomah VA will soon implement changes designed to help correct the alleged over prescription of opiates and a culture of retaliatory behavior.

Acting Medical Director John Rohrer said he has developed a 30 day plan, in which he used information gathered at town hall meetings to create committees to help solve some of the problems staff and veterans are facing.

Rohrer said there are six or seven common themes that come up during the meetings, one of which, is staff morale.

"Because of everything that's going on, staff morale can be a challenge," he said. "So we're taking that information and putting together a morale and engagement committee."

Additionally, the facility will institute "academic detailing" in which pharmaceutical reps with the VA will begin studying the patient population more.

"They become a trusted resource because they build a relationship with that clinician," she said. They get to know what that clinician's particular practice population is like, what kind of problems they have and so forth."

Dr. Clancy said compared to her initial visits to the facility in January, she's seen a drastic turn around in employee attitudes.

"When I was here in January, people were very, very upset that they were hearing more on the news about what was happening at the facility than they were hearing at the facility," she said. "I didn't hear any of that today."

When asked whether former medical director Dr. Mario De Sanctis, who was temporarily reassigned in March, would return to the Tomah VA, Dr. Clancy said she was unsure.

"We have our feelers out for a permanent acting medical director," she said. "It's difficult to attract some people to a smaller, rural area, so we're keeping our eyes open to everyone."

Investigations into the allegations at the Tomah VA are expected to yield results within the upcoming months.

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