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