Marine’s family speaks out against former Tomah VA doctor

Parents who lost their son to what they say was a mixture of painkillers prescribed at the Tomah VA medical center are speaking out after hearing that the doctor who gave him the drugs is set to practice medicine again.

Dr. David Houlihan is the former chief of staff at the VA. He plans to join the La Crosse office of Counseling Associates based in Winona, Minnesota.

Last summer, the VA’s inspector general said deficiencies in care led to the drug toxicity death of Jason Simcakoski in August 2014. Although several complaints are pending against him, Houlihan has not been charged and still holds his license.

Because of this, Jason Simcakoski’s family members said they’re sad and shocked by the news.

“We’re just a little bit surprised that nothing’s ever been completed on this,” said Marvin Simcakoski, Jason Simcakoski’s dad.

“When you see him being able to practice medicine again, it just makes you, takes you back to when Jason was under the care there and it’s hard, hard to see that,” said Heather Simcakoski.

The Simcakoskis said the news doesn’t help them get the closure they were hoping to get.