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Nearly 300 soldiers getting PTSD case reviews at Madigan

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on March 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm with 3 Comments »
March 7, 2012 3:35 pm

The Army announced today that is inviting 285 soldiers to have their behavioral health diagnoses reviewed as it digs deeper into its investigation of Madigan Army Medical Center’s forensic psychiatry unit.

A team of behavioral health professionals selected those cases among a group 1,500 soldiers who received diagnoses at Madigan since 2007. The Army did not say why it chose those soldiers.

“It is important that we make contact with each soldier who we have identified as possibly requiring a second look,” said Col. Becky Porter, the Army’s chief behavioral health officer.

More soldiers could have their cases reviewed. Soldiers who passed through Madigan and have complaints about their behavioral health diagnoses are invited to call a “Warrior and Family Hotline” at (800) 984-8523.

In January, the Army opened up an investigation into the Madigan team following complaints that it adjusted behavioral health diagnoses in such a way that soldiers did not receive full disability benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. Seventeen soldiers who contested their cases were offered third opinions at Walter Reed Military Medical Center, and six had PTSD diagnoses reinstated by doctors at that the Maryland hospital.

The Army is conducting at least three separate investigations into Madigan’s PTSD diagnoses. In the meantime, Madigan commander Col. Dallas Homas is on leave, forensic psychiatry unit leader Dr. William Keppler is barred from working with patients and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Juliana Ellis-Billingsley has resigned.

Madigan in the past two years diagnosed 1,699 soldiers with PTSD.

 

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. HorseshoeCat says:

    I will repeat this as necessary as I need to.

    I was a patient of Ellis-Billingsley back in January – February, 1995, having been hospitalized for a suicide attempt while under “investigation” for a supposed act of misconduct.

    I refuse to address her as Doctor in this statement because I know she is something less than an ethical doctor. The first day in Madigan (5-North) she came into my room and grabbed my rank located on my collar and shook it while stating your General is going to bust you in rank. I thought “OMG”, is this the type of care I am going to receive? I was already paranoid enough, not sure who to trust, and just generally scared. I felt terrified by Ellis-Billingsley. Who could I complain to about her conduct? The MEDCOM IG? Who would believe a psychiatric patient in a closed room with a “stellar” doctor assaulting a patient? She put misinformation into my psychiatric records that has never been substantiated by any other doctor or mental health professional.

    In the meantime, the DOD-IG was conducting a review of an IG complaint that I had filed which was later substantiated that a BG and several of his colonel cronies had engaged in ethical misconduct. They were stupid enough to put certain informtion in writing and as an NCO, I felt obligated to report it. Of course, the BG and his cronies were never punished in any way for their ethical misconduct, which in my opinion was pretty serious. I

    Now, so many years later to see she has resigned is great news for the military community.

    She now has the shoe on the other foot and sees that “all the investigations are a charade as the outcome has been predetermined.” If she had one ounce of personal self-worth, she would have stayed and fought the battle. Instead of continuing to milk the system, thank goodness she ran and cried like a little baby.

    Luckily, I finished my military career, but ended up rated as totally and permanently disabled by the VA. Her lack of soldier care, lack of concern for my mental health, and her unbelievable misconduct by physically grabbing my uniform and shaking me remains with me to this day. How she ever reached the rank of LTC is beyond me, although I have my ideas.

    It is sad to see so many years later she is (was) impacting the lives of soldiers. I can only wish my fellow soldiers the very best and to let you know the experiences I had under her care. Yes, I think the “system” is definitely flawed and only takes your personal resolve, persistance, and patience to obtain the desired outcome.

    Good riddance Ellis-Billingsley for all that you did to me and other mental health soldiers. I wish the other soldiers the very best as they continus their fight for the best medical care and disability benefits they are entitled to.

  2. retired80 says:

    So you were OK to finish your military career, but after you got out you were suddenly 100% disable. There are those with missing appendages that don’t get 100% disability.

  3. HorseshoeCat says:

    RETIRED80: I don’t have to justify myself to you and perhaps if I had included more information, you too would find your comment insulting. I was out of the service for 7 years before I was rated 100% as my medical conditions continued to worsen. I have withheld the types of medical conditions for personal reasons. (Inquiring minds want to know???) Twenty-one years of “tough” service in various combat brigades might just do that to you as well. If you familiarize yourself with VA directives, it is possible to retire today and be 100% disabled the very next day. It happens but is quite uncommon. Hope that answers your question.

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