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Thursday, March 1st 2007

Walter Reed Gets Change At The Top

Following accusations about the housing and timeliness of care provided to waiting outpatients at Walter Reed, the two-star General in charge has been relieved of that command.

Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, a physician and a graduate of West Point, was fired because Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey “had lost trust and confidence” in his ability to make improvements in outpatient care at Walter Reed, the Army said in a brief statement.

Army officials have defended the treatment provided to most patients at Walter Reed, especially the most serious cases, those admitted to inpatient wards on the hospital’s campus a few miles from the center of Washington.

But they have acknowledged that the large number of wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan, currently around 650 patients, has taxed doctors, nurses and other care providers and forced them to rely more heavily on overflow facilities to house outpatients who must remain near the hospital for treatment.


General Weightman had come from a position at Fort Sam Houston (which happens to house the Army Medical Command) and Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio (note: Go Spurs!). He had been in command at Walter Reed for just six months. Kind’ve depressing, but when you’re at the top you take the liability.

No one should imagine Walter Reed won’t be turned around though. Word is Secretary Francis already has a General lined up to take over the command,


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