Taking From the Children

      The life of anyone who exposes financial and quality care abuses in healthcare can be difficult.  When Dr. Kyriakie Sarafoglou, formerly of Weill Medical College (one of the teaching divisions of New York Presbyterian Medical Center) exposed the fact that the pediatrics department was allegedly misusing a 23-million-dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health, she was demoted, denied tenure, pressured to see a psychiatrist,  and eventually had to move to another state.   The NIH grant was supposed to go for the development of a children’s center for the treatment of childhood AIDS and other illnesses.   Little of that money seems to have gone for that purpose.  The consequence of depriving the children of the care this program was supposed to provide them was never reported.

       The case is interesting to read.   Four armed marshals sat in a vehicle parked outside the Weill Medical College while Federal officials served the subpoena. The allegations were eventually settled with the repayment of  $4.4 million  in 2005. There was no investigation of the remaining $18.6 million of the grant.  As quoted in the Wall Street Journal, “The Cornell (New York Presbyterian) case exposes what some scientists call a dirty little secret of university medical research: the misuse of taxpayer’s funds. The NIH last year funneled $20 billion to campus researchers, an amount that has doubled since the late 1990’s. Now, a "string of multimillion-dollar

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