MILWAUKEE — Officials at the troubled Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Wisconsin said Friday that the dentist responsible for possibly infecting nearly 600 veterans has resigned.
The dentist has not been named.
The announcement came after House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, both Wisconsin Republicans, expressed outrage that the dentist was still working at the facility.
On Tuesday, Victoria Brahm, acting medical director at the center, announced that the VA was in the process of notifying 592 veterans treated by the dentist that they may be infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV because he did not follow proper sterilization procedures.
Brahm announced Friday that Tomah’s leadership received the dentist’s resignation just one business day before a Summary Review Board — used in situations that warrant firing — was to be held.
“Although we cannot prevent the dentist from resigning while administrative actions are pending, we are continuing reporting procedures to the State Licensing Board and the National Practitioner Data Bank,” Brahm said in a statement. “We will not stop doing all we can to ensure those responsible for this serious breach of patient trust are held accountable.”
Earlier this week, Brahm said that the dentist was using his own equipment, then cleaning it and reusing it, which violates the VA’s regulations that call for the use of sterile and disposable equipment.
“It was purposeful that he was violating VA regulations,” Brahm said at news conference.
“During all of the orientation, he used all of our equipment. He used it appropriately, so it was very purposeful from what we found in our investigation that he knew exactly what he was doing, and preferred to use his own equipment against procedure.”
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/2gx8FKk