Letters to the Editor

DeGennaro the best person to lead Miami VA

Re the June 8 story Top Miami VA doctor lost medical license in NY and the June 16 letter Step aside, Dr. DeGennaro: Dr. Vincent DeGennaro is a close friend and respected colleague. He is on the executive board of Project Medishare for Haiti and volunteers thousands of hours there each year performing hundreds of life- and limb-saving operations. He also teaches Haitian physicians, surgeons and nurses how to take care of their patients. He makes significant monetary donations to public-health and trauma and critical care programs in Haiti.

He is a respected leader of our medical center and was elected president of Florida's largest medical organization, the FMA. I can endorse his professionalism, his surgical skills, his integrity and his unwavering commitment to our veterans.

Vince is not unlike me and most of our medical colleagues who have had a patient tragically die under our care. Does it mean we are all criminals or that the medical legal system in Florida is just? Not by any means. We have lost hundreds of our best and most skilled physicians and surgeons to other states, which unlike Florida, have just tort laws. Miami Herald articles reflect only one side of the story.

I hope that readers look further into this extraordinary healer's life-long track record. Working closely with this exemplary physician and humanitarian for years, often under the most difficult circumstances imaginable, gives me total confidence that he is the best person available to serve as chief of staff at the Miami VA. Does the VA need more and better doctors and nurses? Yes. Does it deserve better funding? Yes. Should military and VA doctors be paid competitive salaries with the private sector? Yes!

What does not require a fix at the Miami VA is its superb leader, Dr. Vincent DeGennaro.

Barth A. Green, M.D., chairman, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami