Top Health Official Awaits Hearing on Nomination
In another episode, lawyer Lauro D. Silva said he took a neighbor having kidney failure to the hospital. When they arrived, Silva said, Beato came to the emergency room and told them in Spanish that Rafael Paz did not qualify for care and had to leave "or she would call the police." After Silva threatened legal action, Beato relented, agreeing to give Paz one dialysis treatment if he signed a form promising never to return. Silva said Paz died in Mexico a few months later.
Eaton, who telephoned The Washington Post at Beato's behest, said the Loya case and others like it are far more complicated from a medical and legal perspective.
"She is a remarkable woman" whose experience as a Cuban American woman made her particularly sensitive to multicultural issues, Eaton said.
Yet even Beato's friends said it appears that she gave herself extra credit on her résumé.
At the All Faiths Receiving Home in Albuquerque, Executive Director Steve Johnson praised Beato as a dedicated volunteer physician who provided basic care to the abused and neglected. But she was not the medical director, as her résumé states, he added.
William Wiese, director of the Institute for Public Health at the University of New Mexico, said it was inaccurate for Beato to say she had "established" the school's occupational health clinic. "The clinic existed before she was hired. There was another medical director before her," he said.
Similarly, he said, Beato's description of the clinic as a "one-stop comprehensive care for 13,000 employees" is an exaggeration. But Wiese said Beato was a good administrator and teacher.
"She definitely played a significant role in improving, enhancing and building that facility," he said. Among her accomplishments was signing contracts to provide occupational health care to several state agencies, which generated revenue for the university.
Beato's nomination was advocated by Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.). She has given more than $1,200 to him and Republican campaign committees.
Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company