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Cincinnati VA chief of staff reassigned, VA says

The Cincinnati VA Medical Center chief of staff has been placed in an administrative job while the federal agency investigates “certain operations of the surgery department,” the center said in a statement.

Dr. Elizabeth Brill remains chief of staff, but has been “detailed” to a temporary role as a senior adviser in a VA regional office near Cincinnati, according to the VA and media reports.

The Cincinnati VA did not elaborate on the reason for the reassignment. “No specific comments until completion of this review,” the Cincinnati VA said.

RELATED: Dayton VA chief sent to Cincinnati temporarily

Dr. G. Mitchell Kennedy, chief of surgery at the VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus, was named acting chief of staff.

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Citing internal VA emails, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Brill was reassigned after she complained no surgeons were available for four days at the hospital last month which caused at least three patients to be deferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

The newspaper reported Brill had urged Cincinnati VA Director Vivian Hutson to pursue an investigation into the management and operation of the surgery department, primarily over costly delays and missing documentation. The VA chief resisted the investigation, which was led by another doctor, , the newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, nursing leadership sent an April 18 letter to regional director Robert McDivitt that supported Brill and complained about Hutson’s performance on the job, the newspaper said.

News partner WCPO reported it was the sixth leadership change at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center in the past 18 months.

Former Dayton VA Medical Center Director Glenn Costie served was one of the interim leader at the facility in 2016.

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