This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
there’s a special spot being reserved for Dr. Anna Chacko. She’ll be there right beside the child molesters, serial killers, and mass murdering dictators. Dr. Anna Chacko is unlike anyone else in this book. She’s neither a whistleblower nor does she have PTSD. Instead, in a career that has spanned more than four decades; she’s probably caused PTSD in hundreds if not thousands of individuals. This is especially true for those that attempted to blow the whistle on a series of her schemes and other inappropriate behavior. For this reason, I’ll examine her career in detail in this chapter.
(Here’s a much younger Dr. Anna Chacko) Dr. Leonard Nagorski spent a number of years at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in Texas in the 1990’s. For a brief period, Dr. Chacko was also stationed at BAMC. When presented with my thesis here’s how responded. “Having gone through what I went through with Anna, I am sure PTSD applies very well to whistleblowers. When you are dealing with people who threw away their ethics so that they have no problems with manipulating government contracts for personal gain; character assassination, false accusations, and all the other nice things that these people practice to keep from going to prison are very easy for them to do.” Dr. Nagorski has over thirty years’ of experience in medicine and is currently working as a radiologist at the Ireland Army Community Hospital in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Dr. Anna Chacko was born in India in 1946. Little is known about her childhood besides what she wrote in a sparsely read book she published called, A Journey out of India. There’s one story in particular in that book that describes the sort of person that Chacko would become. I paraphrase it below. When little Anna was ten years old, her teacher in school gave the class an assignment to draw a butterfly. There was a girl in the class that was beautiful and Anna didn't like her. That girl brought in a perfect butterfly and the whole class loved it. Anna was sure that the girl had gotten her dad to draw it, and she went home and had her own father draw one. The butterfly he drew was so good that the teacher could tell that Anna didn't draw it. The teacher scolded her for having her parents do her homework for her. Anna was so flabbergasted that she went
home, told her mother, and demanded that she get the teacher fired. That's exactly what her mother then did and the teacher lost her job. Chacko arrived in Hawaii in the early 1970’s with some sort of medical degree from Osmania Medical College in Hyderbad, India. After working at St. Francis Hospital in Hawaii and then the University of Hawaii, Dr. Chacko joined the military. She boasts today that she worked her way up to rank of Colonel. She then spent about a decade in private practice before a scandal I helped bring to light led to her termination from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (VAPHS) in early 2010. Since then, she’s been all but blackballed from the radiology community. During her career, Chacko has become a work nightmare the likes of which we’ve never seen before. She’s also been able to include Jeffrey Immelt, Chief Executive Officer of General Electric (GE), on her electronic rolodex. She counts the former Secretary of the Veterans Administration, Lieutenant General James Peake, as a close personal friend. In 2009, she was able to get Brad Miller, a Congressman from North Carolina, to write to the current Secretary of the VA, General Eric Shinseki, on her behalf. Her relationship with Immelt goes back to the mid 1990’s, when Dr. Chacko worked her way into a position to approve much of the radiology equipment that the Army bought. Since then, she’s approved the purchase of millions of dollars’ worth of medical equipment sold by General Electric. Her exploits might take more than one book to recount in whole and detail, as they deserve to be. One day, I hope to do just that, but for now, I’ll focus her role in developing PTSD in whistleblowers. I’ll limit my analysis to just one chapter. It’s difficult to describe Chacko using adjectives, so the best way is to start with a story. What follows is the story retold in detail by another witness who wished to remain anonymous. I’ve changed any descriptions of the target as well. “The resident was a resident in Radiology in our department the early part of the 2000’s and had first-hand trauma from her (Chacko). They made a minor error, tiny and not clinically significant. But they had resisted Dr. Chacko's effort to make a big deal out of it. They did not become subservient and grovel. “At the next staff meeting, the resident was assigned to attend and Dr. Chacko laid into them, called them lazy, careless, stupid, etc. We, the staff, sat in horror, too amazed to speak up. We looked at each other in shock, and just as we were about to say enough, let’s move on, she stopped and discussed another issue. But she swung that issue around to residents and then
began the attack this resident anew. We were too shocked to say anything; we looked around like ‘are we hearing this correctly, this is too much’. We were whispering and about to say move on when she stopped, started on another item. The item was again artificially swung to residents in general and then on to this resident again. We again listened and were about to speak up and the cycle repeated itself 6 or 7 times, each time a shorter echo but no less personally violent.” Now, when I asked this former resident, now a full doctor in another hospital, their recollection of the incident, they said something very revealing. “Mike, I remember it like it was yesterday.” If you think about PTSD as constantly reliving the same trauma over and over, that statement is very interesting. That’s not to say that this individual has PTSD, they probably don’t. That said such an incident is the sort that can easily lead to PTSD, especially if it were repeated over and over. Dr. Nagorski said he witnessed a number of incidents that proceeded the way the one I described was described. He said he recalled a number times when Chacko would also isolate an individual during a staff meeting and berate them in this cold and calculating way over the course of an hour. In layman’s terms, such an incident would be harrowing. What is a harrowing incident if not an incident that results in great trauma? This is not the only harrowing incident people recalled of Chacko. Kristi George also recalled a similar experience. George worked as the Radiology Director in the Radiology Department at St. James Hospital. Chacko was the Radiology Medical Director at St. James for a turbulent fourteen months from June 2006 through August 2007. In one incident, Chacko had gotten mad at George about something. She brought George into her office and began screaming at her uncontrollably. “Spit was coming out her mouth, she got in my face, and she was yelling at the top of her lungs,” said George of the incident. This incident happened almost five years prior to when George described it to me. What was her response to how well she remembers it now? “I remember it like it was yesterday,” she said. Chacko was known for berating individuals, especially those in a professional class lower than hers. Many times, this meant her secretary. Linda Murphy was Chacko’s secretary during her time at St. James Hospital. She described being yelled at and berated routinely. She also said that Chacko would call her in the middle of
the night demanding that Murphy help Chacko with whatever project she might have been involved in at that hour. If Murphy didn’t pick up the phone, Dr. Chacko would just continue to call until she did. Murphy said that she attempted to take a vacation with her son right before he went to college. Murphy told me that Chacko called her repeatedly while she was on vacation, forced her to come back a day early, and then made her work a sixteen hour day upon returning. Murphy says that she suffered a systematic psychological torture at the hands of Dr. Anna Chacko. The daughter of another of Chacko's secretary's described her mom having a similarly harrowing experience. “My mom worked for this tyrant, as her admin, for 3.5 years (mom always makes us add the .5 to the 3 yrs as it was torture working for her!). She absolutely sucked the life out of my mother. She finally got relief when AKC was removed from Lahey Clinic. I was not aware that anyone knew how evil this woman is and am relieved to know that the word is spreading. My whole family suffered as a result of the way she treated my mom as well as other co-workers.” Right now, some reading this may be thinking to themselves that Chacko is merely a very bad boss, and we have many of those in the world. In fact, she’s so much more. She engages in numerous forms of psychological torture toward her colleagues. She often talks behind people’s backs, especially talking people down behind their backs. She’s had a photo of Lieutenant General James Peake in her office for years, and she reminds all who enter her office who he is and how close they are. In one very nasty technique, Chacko might bring two people known to be friendly with each other in a hospital into her office at separate times. She’d tell the first person that the second person was talking bad about them, and vice versa. Suddenly, two people that were friends become distrustful of each other. Very few people suffered more than Kristi George. George, as the audience will soon learn, was simply filling the wrong role in St. James Hospital in Butte, Montana. Dr. Chacko was brought in the summer of 2007 as part of a grand plan to transform the entire Radiology Department. Chacko had sold the hospital’s CEO, James Kiser, a bill of goods about transforming the entire department into a regional hub for health-care. This included, according to Chacko’s plans, a new radiology imaging center, a plan to become the hub for the transport of the radiological accelerator cyclotron, and a total revamping of the Radiology Department.
We know all of this was a bill of goods because Chacko was out fourteen months after she arrived. The Radiology Department was in the red when she left, and she was fired along with the three radiologists she brought to St. James Hospital with her.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.