My Turn: Honor and privilege to serve

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 14, 2012

As of May 17, I will be transitioning to director of the Miami VA Medical Center. It has been my honor to serve as the director of the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center since August 2010. I have greatly enjoyed working with our leadership team and staff at Salisbury and our clinics in Charlotte, Hickory and Winston-Salem. I am proud of their great commitment and the devotion they show every day to ensure the 85,000-plus enrolled veterans we serve receive the best care possible to improve their health and well being. Together we have made significant progress through performance improvement and program expansion to ensure veterans receive the care they need. The phase one construction for the Center of Excellence projects for mental health and extended care are near fruition and I expect activation of the new hospice unit in July. The outpatient oncology program continues to expand. The health care center projects for Winston–Salem and Charlotte will support access and quality care going forward. We have had great success in growing the medical residency program with Wake Forest University and expanding our research studies. With the recent elevation of the medical center from level 2 complexity to Level 1C complexity, we are recognized nationally as a tertiary care hospital, providing a broad range of medical/surgical/psychiatric and extended care services from the main facility and our three outpatient clinics.
I also appreciate the great support of the many veteran service organizations, our volunteers, our local AFGE, our congressional offices and field staff, our Department of Defense partners, our many academic affiliations and the great community of Salisbury. My wife and I have enjoyed living in this great American city and we will miss the unwavering patriotism and southern hospitality we experience daily.
It has been an honor and privilege for me to serve the veterans of central North Carolina and to serve as director of the Hefner VA Medical Center. I will not forget my time here, nor the friends made along the way.