Report: Medical task force created 'hostile' work environment

April 19, 2013 at 10:56 AM
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SEATTLE, April 19 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army Medical Command task force created to to improve patient care was shut down last year because of a hostile work environment, an Army report said.

A 721-page report said investigators found leaders of the program sometimes used "bullying tactics" in training its staff, The Seattle Times reported Thursday.

The 26-member task force based at Madigan Army Medical Center in western Washington was created to improve the health care atmosphere between patients and staff. It had a budget of more than $3 million.

The task force was shut down because "it failed to execute its assigned mission and was promoting an internal hostile work environment," investigators said.

The task force was led by Claudette Elliott, who previously held licenses in Washington as a registered counselor and hypnotherapist. She holds a 2006 unaccredited doctorate in philosophy and psychology from Warren National University, the report said..

The Army report, first obtained by KUOW Public Radio in Seattle, said the task force used "Wiccan practices" such as stones and crystal blows for "energy readiness."

Elliott said she had not seen the report, but said a summary provided by a reporter was inaccurate and one-sided, the newspaper reported.

The Times said the "Culture of Trust" task force was created in 2010 by then-Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoonmaker after a series media reports about shoddy outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland.

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