Dallas VA hospital to decide within ‘a few weeks’ on discipline for nurse accused of anti-gay tirade

Esther Garatie

Five weeks after our initial story on Esther Garatie, The Dallas Morning News (subscription only) published a piece on the front page of its Metro section Sunday about the lesbian Marine veteran who alleges she was subject to a hateful anti-gay tirade by a nurse practitioner at the Dallas VA Medical Center in October.

Better late than never, we suppose. And while we could argue that the DMN should have given us credit as the media outlet that broke the story — as the Dallas Observer so graciously did a few weeks back — it’s also true that the Change.org petition calling for the nurse to be fired predated even our report.

Anyhow, there isn’t a whole hell of a lot of new info in the DMN story, but there are a few interesting tidbits. One is that supporters of the nurse, Lincy Pandithurai of Cedar Hill, have launched a Facebook page called, “Support Lincy T Pandithurai (nurse).” When we checked this afternoon, the page had a whopping total of 36 members —  compared to the more than 16,000 who’ve signed the Change.org petition (and the 196 who’ve joined another FB page called, “Fire Nurse Lincy Pandithurai and Revoke Her License“).

But back to the “Support Lincy T Pandithurai (nurse)” FB page mentioned by the DMN, which says the following under Info:

“This dear sweet nurse dared to witness Jesus Christ to a lost lesbian. So now the the gay community would rather see a good nurse fired rather than someone possibly have an opportunity to choose another path. How sad is that? Fellow Americans I ask you to wake up,speak out before it is too late. Let’s show this loving nurse our support. Pray for the lost soul she witnessed to. I bet she never said an unkind word.”

—  John Wright

Dallas VA hospital puts nurse on administrative duty after lesbian Marine veteran’s complaint

Esther Garatie

Last month we told you about Esther Garatie, a lesbian Marine veteran who says she became the victim of anti-gay harassment by a nurse practitioner when she sought mental health treatment at the Dallas VA Medical Center.

Today Change.org is reporting — and Dallas Voice has confirmed — that the nurse practitioner, Lincy Pandithurai, has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the VA Medical Center’s investigation into Garatie’s complaint.

“We started a fact-finding review when this allegation was first brought to our attention,” VA Medical Center spokeswoman Monica A. Smith said in an email. “To get a more in-depth look at the allegation, VA North Texas is now conducting an administrative investigation board review and expects to have that completed by the end of November. The nurse named in the allegation is currently placed on administrative duties while the investigation is ongoing.”

Smith explained that administrative duty means Pandithurai is assigned to a non-clinical area and is not seeing patients. Smith declined to specify the date when Pandithurai was placed on administrative duty.

The Change.org petition calling for the VA Medical Center to fire Pandithurai — which was launched by Garatie’s friend Jessica Gerson in the wake of the alleged incident — now has almost 13,000 signatures.



—  John Wright