Finally UN Admits – Sort of — To Role in Haiti Cholera Epidemic

DRcoverI was thrilled to have edited Ralph Frerichs book Deadly River on cover up of the Haitian Cholera epidemic, which was published by our series on The Culture and Politics of Health Care work at Cornell University Press. Deadly River is a great medical detective story with French epidemiologist Renaud Piarroux as the book’s hero — the diligent scientist who traced the epidemic’s origins to UN Peacekeepers from Nepal.  Finally, the UN is beginning to fess up and Ralph has written a great OpEd for the Boston Globe about what the UN has to do next.  Please check it out. Also please check out Ralph Frerichs website.


VA Improvements and Support from APA

4032e2d72a05467a912d28bc0ac6ffed-4032e2d72a05467a912d28bc0ac6ffed-0Just had this published in the American Propsect.

Tapped: The Prospect Group Blog

Studies Show Veterans Health Care Improving

When the House Veterans Affairs Committee holds a hearing on September 7 to assess the future of the Veterans Health Administration, federal lawmakers would do well to consider recent reports that challenge the continual drumbeat of negative and often unfair coverage and congressional criticism of the VHA.

One report, from the RAND Corporation, said that while there were differences in care and leadership culture across the system, researchers “did not find evidence of a system-wide crisis in access to VA care.” In fact, the report identified congressional policies as one of the main barriers to VHA improvements (despite the Veteran Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller’s apparent belief that firing VHA leaders is the solution to any access problems). The report noted that “inflexibility in budgeting stem[med] from the congressional appropriation processes,” and concluded that the hastily designed and implemented Veterans Choice Program, “further complicated the situation and resulted in confusion among veterans, VA employees, and non-VA providers.”

Though … Continue reading

My OpEd in the San Francisco Examiner

This was published on Sunday July 24, in the San Francisco Examiner.

Veterans question VHA privatization push

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are pictured during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 3, 2015. (Andrew Harnik/AP) Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are pictured during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Nov. 3, 2015. (Andrew Harnik/AP) By on July 24, 2016 1:00 am Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

California has more veterans … Continue reading

Position Paper of 9 Organizations on Commission on Care Report

vha_mat_croppedNine organizations — including unions, associations of clinicians, and others — have issued an important position statement on the proposed VHA Care System.  Please read and share.

Position Paper on Commission on Care Final Report

Association of VA Psychologist Leaders Association of VA Social Workers
Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs Veterans Affairs Physician Assistant Association American Federation of Government Employees National Federation of Federal Employees National Nurses United
American Psychological Association National Association of Social Workers

July 21, 2016

On June 30, 2016, the Commission on Care submitted its Final Report required by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014.

As organizations comprised of and representing health care practitioners, researchers, educators, administrators and personnel devoted to serving Veterans, we have serious reservations about the report’s major recommendation to replace the current VHA with a new entity, to be known as the VHA Care System. In the proposed VHA Care System, Veterans would be permitted to receive care from any local facility or provider who has been credentialed by VHA. Oversight for Veterans’ health care would be handed over to a newly created, external governance board.

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BMJ Post Sitting at the Table or Not

This was just published on the BMJ blog.


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Suzanne Gordon: Encouraging all members of a medical team to speak up

12 Jul, 16 | by BMJ


The oval, mahogany table dominates the center of the large conference room. A number of chairs circle the table and dot the perimeter of the room. Every week, a group of high level hospital administrators, physician leaders, and leaders of other professional and occupational disciplines—physical therapy, social work, clinical directors of nursing, housekeeping, etc—gather in this room to discuss hospital function. They call themselves a “team” and the gathering a “team meeting.”

Nothing indicates that places at the table are reserved for particular participants. But today, as happens every week, when physicians and hospital administrators enter the room, they … Continue reading