Director of Martinsburg VA Center leaving to take position in Chicago
09/17/2013 - The Journal. By Jenni Vincent.
MARTINSBURG - Some things are changing at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center, where director Ann R. Brown will soon be leaving her local post to take another position in Chicago.
Brown's expected departure date is Sept. 27, and an acting medical director will be named prior to her leaving, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs press release.
She will become medical center director of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, which is a 200-bed inpatient tertiary care facility, the release said.
It is a clinical referral level IB facility and provides services that include acute medicine, surgery, psychiatry, neurology and rehabilitation medicine. Additionally, "it is a teaching hospital, providing full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research," the release reads.
The facility is part of the VA Great Lakes Healthcare System (Network 12), which includes facilities in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Brown, a San Antonio, Texas, native, has served as the local director since being appointed to that position in January 2008.
Prior to coming to Martinsburg, she previously served as acting deputy director for Veterans Integrated Services Network (VISN 9) in Nashville, Tenn.
At the time of her arrival in Martinsburg, the hospital had more than 1,300 employees and an approximately $187 million budget.
In an article in The Journal announcing her arrival, Brown pledged to work with all veterans, especially those who are just returning from deployments, stressing the need for "100 percent accountability" in helping vets.
She replaced Pedro Garcia, who had been acting medical center director since April 2007, when previous director Fernando Rivera transferred to the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Brown is not the only top hospital official to transfer to an Illinois facility.
Timothy Cooke, who was the Martinsburg VA's associate medical center director, began a temporary post in Danville, Ill., in mid-August.
Cooke, who Brown announced as Martinsburg's new associate medical center director in June 2010, had been acting associate director since July 2009.
He previously served as the center's facility management service chief from 2004 until becoming associate director.
He is now the acting director of the VA Illiana Healthcare System in Danville, Ill.
The Associated Press reported that Cooke will serve as the Illiana system's acting director until a new director is hired to replace Emma Metcalf, who transferred to the VA Medical Center in Lexington, Ky. A search is now underway to find a permanent replacement.
Cooke began his new, temporary post in Danville on Aug. 19, just a few days before local VA officials announced that "common" mold - similar to that found on bread or a shower curtain - had been found on stand-alone air conditioning units in the domiciliary and approximately 175 patients would have to be relocated.
At that time, officials estimated the remedial work might take up to 60 days to complete. Veterans have since been housed in local hotels.
On Sunday, however, a hospital spokesman said in an email that the mold remediation is "100 percent complete."
Spokesman Mike McAleer said Pathway to Wellness residents will return to half of the domiciliary in early October. The other half of the domiciliary is expected to be completed in mid-November. Completion will include the installation of new air conditioner units, according to his email.
In the same email, McAleer said information wasn't available on hotel costs, contractors doing the mold remediation work or the project's projected cost.