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Denver Health Paramedic Division director resigns

Denver7 Investigates had exposed culture issues within the department
Posted at 5:45 PM, Oct 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-28 20:26:01-04

The man in charge of Denver Health’s Paramedic Division is stepping down.

Denver7 Investigates obtained the resignation letter of Dr. Kevin McVaney, who is leaving the job shortly after new CEO Donna Lynne took over from Robin Wittenstein.

Over the past 15 months, Denver7 Investigates has taken a critical look at the culture inside the paramedic division, speaking with paramedics and firefighters who sought to expose problems inside Denver Health under McVaney’s leadership.

Initial complaints stated that paramedics were pressured to bypass closer qualified emergency departments to bring critically injured patients to Denver Health.

In the reports that followed, firefighters expressed concern over the wait times they were experiencing on critical calls and rules that prevented them from providing life-saving techniques. Data provided by Denver Fire showed that firefighters and patients, at times, waited up to 40 minutes for Denver Health paramedics to arrive on scene.

In an interview with Denver7 Investigates in 2021, McVaney was adamant that he would not change anything about how his department cares for trauma patients.

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said. “I take care of patients.”

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After Denver7 Investigates’ initial reports, McVaney declined future interview requests, including to discuss his resignation.

He sent his resignation letter to staff on Thursday. It included, “I’m humbled by the fact that I’ve had the longest tenure of any medical director in our division’s history. … These past few years have been rough and I need some time to recover and reset my career.”

According to the letter, Denver Health will soon name an interim medical director for the paramedic division. Sources tell Denver7 Investigates that this appears to be a sign of a culture change on the horizon.

See the letter below:

McVaney Resignation