1:04 AM 02/26/2016
The Medical Director of the Memphis VA Medical Center has been removed from her post, The Daily Caller has learned.
Diane Knight was removed from her post as the top executive at the troubled VA hospital, according to a press release from the hospital.
“The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) takes seriously its obligation to providing the highest quality care and services to Veterans,” according to the press release put out by the hospital’s Public Affairs Officer Willie Logan. “Due to the recent underperformance of the Memphis, Tennessee VA Medical Center effective February 29, William ‘Bill’ Mills will act as Acting Director of the Memphis VAMC.”
Mills was previously the Medical Director of the Altoona, Pennsylvania VA Medical Center, according to the same press release.
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Knight has had a troubled since taking over as Medical Director in 2012. In 2014, an audit found the hospital to have some of the worst wait times of the VA system.
Shortly after that TheDC ran two stories exposing backlogs in their medical records department; the head of the department, Rebecca England, still received an award from the hospital, along with C. Diane Knight, in a ceremony in March 2015.
In August 2015, several news outlets including Fox News Channel reported that the paraplegic ward was being left unattended: “If there was an emergency, we’re screwed,” said an unnamed patient who filmed the empty hallways in one video.
Sean Higgins, who blew the whistle on a plethora of waste and corruption at the hospital, was terminated in September 2014 only to get his job back a year later when the Merit System Protection Board ruled his termination was without merit.
“It is a long time coming! She took over in 2012 and it’s been a myriad of issues and deaths of which she was never qualified to handle. We need caring, compassionate and competent people leading the VA. She was never that,” Higgins told TheDC.
While Knight is being removed as the Medical Director, she is not leaving the VA system; she will become the Primary Care Service Line Chairperson at the Veteran Integrated Services Network 9 out of Nashville, Tennessee, according to the press release.
VISN 9 is a region of VA hospitals which includes the Memphis VA.
“Effective February 25, 2016, Diane Knight, MD, will return to the VISN 9 Office in Nashville, TN. Dr. Knight will serve as Primary Care Service Line Chairperson, and will assist with VISN-wide clinical programs. I anticipate Dr. Knight will arrive within the next few days to begin her appointment, and her ongoing contributions to ensuring VA provides high quality care to Veterans,” according to an internal email from Arleen Foster, Knight’s secretary, to staff at VISN 9.