Dozens of KCK psychiatrist’s ineligible ’employees’ cut line to get COVID vaccine before people at risk
By Linda Wagar
January 18, 2021
Micaela Wexler – Psychiatrist
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — As millions anxiously wait for the COVID-19 vaccine, a Kansas City, Kansas, psychiatrist is accused of helping people cut in line. It’s a move that could have put some healthy people months ahead of those at risk.
Two healthcare whistleblowers contacted FOX4 saying dozens of ineligible people were gaming the system by posing as employees of psychiatrist Micaela Wexler.
According to Kansas’ vaccine guidelines, doctors, nurses and others working in a healthcare setting, along with nursing home patients, were supposed to be the only ones currently eligible for the vaccine under Phase One.
But the two whistleblowers said actors, financial advisors and other acquaintances of Wexler and even of her ex-husband Victor Wexler were listed as eligible after they claimed to be working for the doctor’s practice.
Victor Wexler declined to comment to FOX4 regarding that accusation.
According to both whistleblowers, on last Wednesday alone, 30 people arrived at the vaccine clinic claiming to be Wexler’s employees. Some were unable to correctly pronounce Wexler’s name. Another seven came to the clinic Thursday. Others, they said, had arrived earlier in the week.
Wexler is a psychiatrist with an office on Booth Street in KCK. FOX4 tried visiting her office twice. There was no sign marking it as a medical office, no one answered the door and mail was piled up in a box outside.
We also couldn’t find her at her Leawood home where there was a for sale sign outside. A neighbor said he thought she had moved to Texas a couple of months ago.
Just last week, however, Wexler sent an email to Wyandotte County’s health department with a list of eight names after being asked by the health department whether she had any more employees who needed to be vaccinated.
We tried calling and emailing Wexler for comment, but have yet to hear back.
Wexler’s website, however, is still active, and we were told she’s seeing client’s remotely.
A spokeswoman for Wyandotte County confirmed that ineligible people received vaccines after being referred by Wexler’s office.
“There was a small group of folks who came in after signing up through this practice who did not meet Phase 1 eligibility criteria,” Janet Friesen said.
“Our staff quickly identified the issue and have since resolved it with full cooperation from Dr. Wexler and other leadership in the clinical practice… We have worked with about 250 healthcare organizations so far to get their workers vaccinated, and we haven’t had any other issues come up like this so far.”
The two whistleblowers blamed lax Kansas vaccine procedures for the scheme. They said Wyandotte County’s public health department, as with most Kansas health departments, did not require proof of employment for people getting vaccinated.
The whistleblowers told FOX4 the county changed its vaccination protocol last week after the Wexler incident. It now requires proof of employment.
The health department said it did not plan to pursue any sanctions against Wexler.