Tuesday, December 07, 2010

BLOGSCAN - FDA don't need no smart old people 'round

We have posted numerous times about the requirement for seasoned expertise (the kind that only comes with age) in healthcare leadership.

FDA, CDC and other HHS agencies may have different ideas:


Age Purge in FDA Press Office?
December 5, 2010
By GoozNews

FDA Webview (subscription required) reports that the new FDA associate commissioner for external affairs, Beth Martino, 31, a former Kansas aide to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has conducted a purge of senior specialists, all aged over 50, in her office and in the press office. The abrupt removals were made to make room for younger people closer to Martino’s own age, the trade journal reports. “She’s uncomfortable with people who know more than she does,” a source told FDA Webview.

Three of the displaced staffers, public affairs officers Elaine Gansz Bobo, 52, Dick Thompson, 65, a former Time magazine science editor, and Ira Allen, 62, a seasoned health care journalist, were offered the choice of being terminated as probationary hires for fabricated “incompetence” or resigning. Similar purges are reportedly occurring at other HHS agencies, including Centers for Disease Control.

Neither Martino nor FDA senior deputy commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, whose duties include chairing the FDA’s transparency initiative, responded to FDAWebview’s request for comment.

If this story is true, it is not only illegal age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), it is deleterious to the appropriate functioning of federal agencies charged with safeguarding public health - via talent mismanagement.

-- SS


Live it or live with it said...

This is very very diconcerting, is it accurate? Can anyone confirm this?

Anonymous said...

Linked in shows 2 of the three still listing the FDA as their employer. Ira however has an interesting blog post:


... A notice of termination and a resignation. Choose, I was told, and choose right then. To add insult to the injury, she cited fabricated, unspecified instances of my incompetence after 40 years in the business. She did not need to do that because the government has the right to terminate anyone on probation for no reason.

I was not alone. Four of us over 50 years of age were ousted, called incompetent and apparently replaced with cheaper, younger acolytes. ....