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Chief of surgery for Roseburg VA leaves position

Roseburg VA - photo from June 2014

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) - The chief of surgery for the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center has stepped down following allegations of retaliation and bullying last year.

Dr. Dinesh Ranjan will be replaced by Chris Curry, the VA's chief of dental services, who will serve as the acting chief of surgery for the next few months, VA officials said Tuesday.

Ranjan will assist in the development of the VA Northwest Network's surgical telehealth program, The News-Review reported .

"There are times in every organization when new leadership is needed. This is one of those times, and appointing a new chief of surgery is in the best interest of the facility and the veterans served by the Roseburg (VA)," Roseburg VA Director Doug Paxton said in a statement.

Ranjan declined to comment Monday.

In December, the Douglas County Veterans Forum, a coalition of veterans groups in southwestern Oregon, issued a vote of no confidence against Ranjan, seeking his removal from the position.

Forum President Larry Hill said Ranjan leaving the chief position is a beneficial move for the VA.

"It'll be good for the hospital. It'll show that they're going in the right direction in attempting to square the situation away," Hill said.

Allegations against Ranjan of retaliation and bullying spurred an investigation by the VA's Office of the Medical Inspector and the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. Investigators interviewed about 200 VA employees in Oregon in November and December last year.

Investigators described the VA as having a "toxic culture," and a preliminary report called for changes in senior management.

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Information from: The News-Review, http://www.nrtoday.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press

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