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Army Suspends Brig. Gen. In Charge of Western Region Medical Care

John Brooks
U.S. Army

The Army Surgeon General Thursday suspended the commander in charge of Army hospitals in 20 western states.

Brigadier General John Cho led the U.S. Army's Western Regional Medical Command, headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma. A brief Army statement said Cho was indefinitely suspended due to an issue with the "command climate" in his organization.

The Army declined to be more specific "pending the outcome an inquiry." But WRMC spokeswoman Sharon Ayala clarified, "this has nothing to do with patient health care delivery, patient safety or access to care."

The biggest hospital in the command is Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That facility has come under scrutiny in recent years for various issues such as PTSD diagnosis reversals. However all that predates General Cho's arrival less than a year ago.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.