BECKLEY, W.Va. — As the investigation of sexual assault charges against a former doctor at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Raleigh County continues, the facility’s chief of staff has been terminated.
Dr. Mark D. Harris was appointed in 2017 and was responsible for clinical operations at the Beckley VAMC and at community clinics in Greenbrier and Mercer counties. He previously was the regional medical officer at CareMore Health Systems in Memphis, Tennessee, and had served as Army Medical Department Ambassador to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. William R. Carson, an orthopedic surgery specialist at the center, was named as acting chief of staff.
“There are times in every organization when new leadership is needed. This is one of those times, and we are confident that as William Carson assumes the duties of Beckley VAMC acting chief of staff, he will provide consistency and strong leadership until a permanent chief of staff is named. We thank Dr. Harris for his service, and wish him all the best in the future,” said the hospital’s public affairs officer in a statement.
In response to a request from MetroNews for clarification, the spokesperson said the personnel change is not related to the ongoing investigation.
In September, a former patient made an allegation against a former member of the medical staff, claiming the unnamed doctor had sexually assaulted him and at least a dozen other patients. Since then, several other former patients have come forward with similar allegations of misconduct occurring between July of 2018 and July of 2019.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Veterans’ Administration’s Office of Inspector General are investigating the claims.