Shreveport VA chief resigns post after year of turmoil

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A top official at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center is stepping down after a year of turmoil that mirrored scandals erupting at other Veterans Administration medical centers nationwide.

Patrick McGauly leaves the hospital’s chief of staff position amid allegations that hospital staff kept secret waiting lists, facing numerous Inspector General investigations and outrage surrounding a shortage of patient essentials.

“Our Chief of Staff Patrick McGauly has chosen to pursue an academic and clinical appointment to work in emergency medicine, effective March 15,” Veterans Administration spokesperson Jessica Jacobsen told Watchdog. “Dr. McGauly will continue to serve both the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center and local community. There have been no other permanent leadership changes. Dr. McGualy strongly believes in community service. His passion for serving Veterans and the community as an emergency department physician will benefit the Shreveport/Bossier City area."

McGauly began his VA career in 2010 as an emergency room doctor and was promoted to emergency department director in 2012. He was appointed interim chief of staff in October 2013, a title that was made permanent in 2014, according to Jacobsen.

On Tuesday, the hospital’s web site still listed McGauly as interim chief of staff. He did not return phone calls and emails seeking comment.

According to the Overton Brooks web site, there are only two officials above McGauly – the medical center director and the associate director. Director Toby Mathew had just started his job in June 2014 when a whistleblower revealed that hospital staff were keeping two appointment waiting lists – one for the public to see and a secret list designed to mask long wait times in the hospital’s Mental Health Division. The secret list totaled some 2,700 veterans.

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