VA fires Pittsburgh hospital network’s director

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The director of the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Healthcare System has been fired. The move comes a month after officials determined that she had committed “conduct unbecoming a senior executive,” along with wasteful spending.

Terry Wolf had been on paid leave since June, after a VA review of an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease between February of 2011 and November, 2012. At least six Pittsburgh patients died and 16 became sick from the bacterial disease. The outbreak was traced to water treatment problems.

Wolf is the fourth senior executive at VA to be removed under a new law giving the Veterans Affairs secretary the power to streamline the firing of poor-performing executives by shortening the time for dealing with appeals. New regulations were enacted in the wake of a nationwide scandal over veterans waiting too long for medical care or being kept on secret waiting lists so that regional VA officials wouldn’t be penalized if certain care access deadlines weren’t met.

Republican Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida is accusing the VA of dragging its feet. He noted that Wolf was first targeted for removal on October 3rd, but wasn’t fired until today.

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