Pentagon will conduct independent Lejeune probe
02-18-2010 08:12 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Defense Department’s investigation into allegations of poor mental health care at Camp Lejeune will be independent of a Navy probe that accused the whistleblower of poor performance, a North Carolina congressman said Thursday.
Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican whose district includes Camp Lejeune, said he was concerned that the Defense Department was just going to review the Navy’s investigations.
“I’ve been assured that they would be calling Dr. [Kernan] Manion in the next day or two to set up a time to meet with him,” Jones said. “He is going to be the first one they talk to.”
Jones demanded a new investigation into problems with mental health care on the North Carolina base after documents uncovered by Salon.com showed how officials at Camp Lejeune changed Dr. Kernan Manion’s favorable evaluations to unsatisfactory.
Public questions about the quality of mental health care provided by a private contractor at the base were raised in September by the firing of Manion, a brain trauma specialist who had complained to commanders about poor facilities, inadequate care programs and weak security.
Manion, 59, has 25 years of experience as a psychiatrist with a specialty in traumatic brain injury. Manion last year said he was fired for writing memos to his military superiors complaining of shoddy care for Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jones said his office has received numerous complaints from Marines and their families about mental health care at Camp Lejeune.
“I quite frankly believe that Doctor Manion was doing everything he could to help Marines. And because of that, somebody somewhere along the line did not approve of his doing his job as a medical professional,” Jones said. “This is all about the Marines and their families getting proper medical care.”
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DoD will review Lejeune mental health care
Lejeune psychiatrist: Complaints led to firing
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