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Investigation ongoing after suspension of Army's top health officer in Europe

Brig. Gen. Ronald Stephens speaks after assuming command of Regional Health Command Europe in May 2018 in Sembach, Germany. Stephens has been suspended pending an investigation into unspecified allegations, U.S. Army Europe said.

STARS AND STRIPES

By JOHN VANDIVER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 20, 2020

STUTTGART, Germany — U.S. Army Europe is investigating the top medical commander in the region after he was suspended for alleged misconduct, military officials said Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Ronald Stephens, who leads Regional Health Command-Europe, was suspended Feb. 12, USAREUR said in a recent statement.

“The investigation does not involve patient care or safety,” USAREUR said.

Col. Andre Pippen, RHCE’s chief of staff, is serving as the acting commander.

USAREUR declined to provide details of the alleged misconduct, saying no information will be released until the investigation is complete.

A spokesman for Regional Health Command Europe also declined to comment on the USAREUR-led investigation.

Stephens is at least the second senior-ranking leader within Europe’s military health command in recent years to be suspended pending an investigation.

In 2018, the former commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Col. Timothy Hudson, was suspended. The Army cleared Hudson of all allegations of mismanagement and inappropriate behavior after a three-month probe.

It was Stephens who reinstated Hudson, one month after the general assumed command of RHCE in May 2018.

Stephens previously served as the Army Medical Command’s deputy chief of staff for support.

The regional health command has four subordinate commands — Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Medical Department Activity-Bavaria, Public Health Command Europe and Dental Health Command-Europe. There are also 11 outpatient medical clinics, 14 dental clinics and seven veterinary clinics.

vandiver.john@stripes.com
Twitter: @john_vandiver

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