The chief of staff of the troubled Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been fired.
This past January, VA senior leaders became aware of allegations that Dr. David Houlihan engaged in improper pain medication prescribing practices and retaliatory behavior. On Jan. 16, Houlihan was relieved of his clinical duties and prescriptive authorities. Later in the month, a series of clinical reviews were convened to assess Houlihan’s clinical practice, and a separate administrative investigation was charged to review the non-clinical aspects of his administrative interactions with subordinates and alleged retaliatory behavior.
Based upon the results of those reviews, his removal from Federal service and revocation of clinical privileges was proposed on Sept. 17.
Houlihan was notified Oct. 30 of the decision to remove him from Federal employment, effective Nov. 9, and to also revoke his clinical privileges.
The center’s director, Mario DeSanctis, was fired in September.
“After extensive and fair investigation the VA has formally removed Dr. Houlihan from their employment,” U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), whose district includes Tomah, said in a statement. “This is an important step in moving forward at the Tomah VA and ensuring our veterans receive the care they earned and deserve.”