Wilkie says senior VA official's firing will not impact rollout of Cerner EHR

The dismissal of Deputy Secretary James Byrne announced on Feb. 3 was “a simple business decision,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said at a press conference at the National Press Club in D.C.  (Tina Reed)

The firing of a senior Veterans Affairs official earlier this week will not impact the massive rollout of an electronic health records system at the VA or care veterans receive at military healthcare facilities, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday.

The dismissal of Deputy Secretary James Byrne announced on Feb. 3 was “a simple business decision,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said at a press conference at the National Press Club in D.C. 

He also said it had nothing to do with the handling of sexual misconduct allegations at the D.C. VA hospital, contrary to what some news outlets reported earlier this week. Axios reported earlier this week that the decision came as pressure mounted over the VA's handling of allegations that a House staffer was sexually assaulted at the hospital.

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"There are times at any company, and in the military ... when there are some people in the organization who just don’t gel with the team," Wilkie said. "It's nothing personal, but we have so many things going on. It's been my mission, my goal, to ensure that everyone who's working for us is performing to the utmost."