Veteran speaks out on abuse suffered at Leavenworth VA - KCTV5

Veteran speaks out on abuse suffered at Leavenworth VA

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Another lawsuit in the Mark Wisner case was filed Monday night. (Natalie Davis/KCTV5) Another lawsuit in the Mark Wisner case was filed Monday night. (Natalie Davis/KCTV5)
Josh Hutchison is a 12-year Army veteran. He served overseas in Pakistan and Afghanistan and his bravery continued Tuesday as he spoke about something difficult to admit. (Josh Hutchison) Josh Hutchison is a 12-year Army veteran. He served overseas in Pakistan and Afghanistan and his bravery continued Tuesday as he spoke about something difficult to admit. (Josh Hutchison)
“You come back from a fight and you get into another fight,” said Hutchison. (Josh Hutchison) “You come back from a fight and you get into another fight,” said Hutchison. (Josh Hutchison)
“It started since day one. And it almost became standard practice,” said Hutchison. (Josh Hutchison) “It started since day one. And it almost became standard practice,” said Hutchison. (Josh Hutchison)
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LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -

Yet another lawsuit in the Mark Wisner case was filed Monday night. That makes nine victims involved in the legal battle against the former Department of Veterans Affairs physician assistant.

Josh Hutchison is a 12-year Army veteran. He served overseas in Pakistan and Afghanistan and his bravery continued Tuesday as he spoke about something difficult to admit.

“You come back from a fight and you get into another fight,” said Hutchison.

This time it was a fight against a health care provider he says took advantage of him. Wisner was supposed to take care of Hutchison, but now the former physician assistant is facing criminal charges and numerous lawsuits for sexual abuse.

“It started since day one. And it almost became standard practice,” said Hutchison.

Hutchison said Wisner would lock the doors, touch him sexually and ask inappropriate questions about his sex life. He claims this abuse went on for four years.

“Being in the military you, even through basic training, you get poked and prodded and you follow orders and that's from day one, you get in there,” said Hutchison of why he didn't say something sooner. “I trusted him as a doctor and come to find out that trust was misplaced.”

Hutchison said he eventually complained to the VA and they did nothing. He wants to hold both the VA and his former healthcare provider accountable.

KCTV5 has attempted to contact Wisner for his response to the allegations, but have not received a call back. We have also reached out the VA every step of the way. 

So far, they’ve only told KCTV5 the following statement:

VA is committed to providing our Veterans with the timely, high-quality care and services they have earned and deserve.  Please know that we take all allegations of misconduct seriously and our first priority is the safety of our patients and staff.  

In regard to your request for information about the status of the investigations surrounding Mr. Wisner, due to the ongoing legal status of the cases in which suit has been filed in Federal district court, VA cannot comment on the specifics of any of the pending cases.  Further inquiries regarding the ongoing litigation should be directed to the Department of Justice's Public Relations office in Washington, DC.

While we cannot publicly discuss pending cases, we take very seriously the safety and well-being of every single Veteran patient.  Upon specific accusations of inappropriate activity being brought to the attention of executive leadership at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, the former employee, Mark Wisner, was removed from patient care and an investigation was swiftly initiated.

Before the investigation was complete, Mr. Wisner left VA and also surrendered his medical license to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Following the full investigation, criminal charges were officially filed against Mr. Wisner.  Leavenworth VAMC, in coordination with VA's Office of Inspector General (OIG), launched a notification campaign and sent letters, with a dedicated hotline number, to Veteran patients formally under Mr. Wisner's care.  This process was established to ensure open communication with Veteran patients and their family members, answer their questions, and offer clinical and administrative support and resources from Leavenworth VAMC.  Again, we cannot publicly discuss pending cases, and further inquiries about this case should be directed to the Department of Justice Public Relations office at (202) 616-2777.

In regard to background investigations and credentialing, all VA employees are required to undergo a background investigation commensurate with their position's risk level.  Mr. Wisner underwent the requisite level of investigation.  Subsequent investigations are not required on positions designated at the Low Risk level, but an updated National Criminal History Check is submitted upon issuance and renewal of VA-issued personal identification verification cards.

Additionally, as with all Physician Assistants, former employee Mr. Wisner was initially credentialed and then re-credentialed every two years in accordance with VHA Handbook, 1100.19, Credentialing and Privileging.  The credentialing process includes an exhaustive primary source verification of training, education, past work history, licensure/certification, and references.  Providers are also enrolled in the National Practitioner Data Bank's (NPDB) Continuous Query program, where VHA would receive an immediate alert if any entity reported the provider to NPDB for any reason.  In Mr. Wisner's case, there were no reports or disclosures from these sources that would have indicated a potential problem.

Copyright 2016 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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