VA Therapist’s Whistleblower Complaint Resolved Through Mediation

An addiction therapist at a Phoenix VA hospital has settled with the Veterans Affairs Department to resolve a whistleblower retaliation case through mediation, the Office of Special Counsel announced on Friday.

Brandon Coleman had disclosed that the hospital was not complying with VA policy requirements on suicide watch for vulnerable veterans, and was not, his complaint said, adequately monitoring suicidal Emergency Department patients. Coleman reported that when he raised the issue, he faced retaliation from management.

Under the mediated settlement, much of which remains confidential, Coleman as of May 1 is working in a new job as an addiction therapist at the Anthem Community Based Outpatient Clinic in suburban Phoenix.

» Get the best federal news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

“Mr. Coleman deserves our thanks for his efforts to improve care for veterans at the Phoenix VA,” said Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner. “I am pleased that the VA and Mr. Coleman were able to use OSC’s mediation program to reach an agreement so that both parties can productively move forward in serving veterans.”

OSC’s expanded Alternative Dispute Resolution program involves a neutral third party – in this case an OSC mediator – assisting with confidential talks between the opposing parties to reach a voluntary resolution. In fiscal 2015, OSC said, 81 percent of completed mediations led to settlements.

“Brandon Coleman is like many whistleblowers I’ve seen," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in a statement. "All these employees want is to fix what’s broken at their agencies so they can do their jobs. They are patriots. In this case, Brandon Coleman is getting back to helping veterans. That’s good news for veterans and the taxpayers, but he shouldn’t have had to go through an ordeal of retaliation, including allegations of improper access of his medical records, which are now under investigation by the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights. Unfortunately, he’s not alone."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.