Would you arrest a patient who threw up on a doctor in the emergency room for battery?
VA officials have veteran arrested when mental health provider can not properly deal with his mental health issues. Compare the VA’s treatment of this veteran with a documented mental illness that the VA was supposed to be providing with its treatment of Jerome Calhoun, Director, VA Medical Center, Fayetteville, North Carolina, who the VA OIG found had sexually harassed three women. No. 7PR-G02-007.
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
RIVIERA BEACH —
A suburban West Palm Beach man was arrested Monday night after police say he held a woman at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center against her will, made sexual comments to her and told her she “just missed being raped.”
Robert Ciborek, 62, faces charges of false imprisonment and battery. As of Tuesday afternoon, records show he is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on $15,000 bail….
While I don’t want to try to justify Ciborek’s inappropriate touching of the woman’s hair, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Ciborek is the patient.
He is there because he has a problem. From this article we do not know the level of qualifications of the woman who was attempting to provide mental health care to this veteran. Similarly we do not know anything about this veteran’s history. It would be particularly interesting to know how long he had been receiving care from the VA., but based on the statement “The woman told police she asked Ciborek how his medication was going,..” we can assume that it was not Ciborek’s first time at the VA.
Unfortunately the VA often uses a variety of unlicensed individuals, with a variety of backgrounds to provide mental health care. Maybe this veteran has issues relating to women and someone should have arranged for him to see a male mental health provider? Maybe he has been off of his meds and this sort of behavior is to be expected? Perhaps this provider’s clinical skills or lack thereof brought out something in this veteran that caused this behavior? No matter what caused this one would have thought that if the provider were truly interested in caring for the veteran she would have arranged for a colleague to have had the veteran admitted to a VA facility for observation so that someone could get to the bottom of this veteran’s problems. Somehow it just does not ring true that they could not get him to go to a crisis center. To me it sounds like they added the line “I’ll come back and get you.”, because they know that a patient’s indication of specific future harm justifies breaking doctor patient confidentiality and going to the police. I have to believe that there would have been some way to have had him involuntarily committed.
What is even more unfortunate is the uneven treatment that the VA has doled out, for what is at worst, sexual harassment on the part of Mr. Ciborek. It is a shame that Mr. Ciborek is a mentally ill veteran, because at the VA, this results in immediate arrest, being held in jail on $15,000 bail. If he was the Director of the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, who did this to his subordinates, a couple of times and it affected their careers, the VA would only give him a slap on the wrist, see the VA OIG’s investigation into Jerome Calhoun, Director, VA Medical Center,
Fayetteville, North Carolina, sexually harassed three women. No. 7PR-G02-007.
U.S. OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL SETTLES WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION COMPLAINT
FILED BY DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS MEDICAL CENTER DIRECTOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 12/12/03
CONTACT: MARY K. MONAHAN
Today, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced the settlement of a prohibited personnel practice complaint filed by a Senior Executive Service (SES) member of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The complainant, a New York State VA Medical Center Director, alleged that a now former VA Network Director retaliated against him because he disclosed to senior-level Network officials that, among other things, records and patient statistics were allegedly falsified during an external audit. After the complainant made his disclosures, and based upon the Network Director’s recommendation, the agency did not fully re-certify the complainant for the SES and placed him on a performance improvement plan (PIP). The VA agreed to stay the implementation of the complainant’s PIP while OSC investigated the complainant’s allegations.
Upon completion of its investigation, OSC concluded that it had reasonable grounds to believe that the VA violated the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA). The WPA makes it unlawful for an agency to take a personnel action against an employee because of disclosures evidencing, among other types of wrongdoing, violations of law, rule, or regulation, gross mismanagement, and a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.
When OSC advised the VA of its conclusion, the VA agreed, without admitting liability, to fully certify the complainant’s SES status, delete from his Official Personnel Folder all references to denying him full SES recertification, and pay his attorney fees. The VA also agreed to discipline and provide OSC training on the WPA to the former Network Director, who, without admitting liability, agreed to those terms.
Kansas City VA Management Ignores Rodents & Unsanitary Conditions for Years
The pictures of these conditions say volumes about the level of care that veterans receive from the VA