Tomah VA director fired in wake of over-prescription reports - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Tomah VA director fired in wake of over-prescription reports

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Tomah, WI (AP) -

The director of the Tomah VA Medical Center has been fired, becoming the second top official to depart amid reports of over-medication practices.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that acting director John Rohrer sent an email to employees Wednesday stating only that Mario Desanctis "is no longer employed" by the VA.

The VA did not immediately say whether say whether Desanctis was fired or quit, but U.S. Rep. Ron Kind's office says he was informed that Desanctis had been "let go."

In an interview with News 19, Kind said he is not surprised by the VA's decision to fire Desanctis. 

"There was some poison there as far as the leadership and the faculty and staff relationships so I think bringing someone new in with a fresh perspective can certainly help re-establish those important working relationships, restore moral there but also the kind of changes and reforms that are necessary today," Kind said. 

Kind said he's been in touch with both the VA Secretary Robert McDonald and Undersecretary Carolyn Clancy about finding a replacement for Desanctis. 

No word on when that will happen.

Desanctis is the second Tomah VA official to depart amid reports of excessive levels of opioid prescriptions there.

Last month, the VA's inspector general said deficiencies in care led to the drug toxicity death last year of Jason Simcakoski. One physician who attended to him was fired.

MORE: Reports shows deficiencies in patient who died

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