Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Serving Veterans, Seeing the World
Some say people join the military for two reasons … to serve and to see the world. Myrtle Beach VA Primary Care Nurse Manager Susan Mangery came to the VA for the first reason and wound up living out the second.
In almost 20 years with the VA Mangery has served in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Miami, Honolulu, Charleston, and now Myrtle Beach. She has held several positions including ICU nurse, head nurse, Associate Nurse Executive for Ambulatory Care, and Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive for VA Pacific Islands in Hawaii.
While her position and location may have changed, her constant is VA is her way of serving and continuing her family’s tradition of service to our country.
“My dad was service connected for a knee injury. I remember going to the Pittsburgh VA as a little girl and I was so impressed to meet the Soldiers who fought oversees.”
Mangery’s father and two brothers served in the Air Force in Vietnam. Her husband, William, also served in Vietnam as a Navy corpsman.
Her first goal was to become an Air Force nurse. But her career path led her to the VA and many successes as a nurse manager and executive.
Sometimes, though, other priorities come first. Last year, as her mother who resides in Myrtle Beach began needing more care, Mangery contemplated returning to her love of ambulatory care and moving to the Myrtle Beach clinic. Now that she’s made the move she is not looking back.
“I came to Myrtle Beach because this give me a better opportunity to take care of my mom,” said Mangery. But what she found at her new job is to her more than a clinic.
“This is an important place,” she said. “The people here really care about the Veterans and going a good job. The MSA’s really try to help the Veterans get the answers they need. We have great nurses working well with the doctors in the PACT teams, and I am so excited to be part of this team.”
She knows, though, that there are challenges at the clinic. Access for Veterans is one of the greatest.
“I believe the clinical and access measures will continue to improve,” she said. “I visualize us growing in Specialty Care and Primary Care in the future.”
She also knows her team is up to the challenge. The greatest aspects of the clinic, according to Mangery are the caring and competent staff, the high level of teamwork and commitment within the Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT).
“Overall, there is a patient focused attitude that is felt and demonstrated by every person who works here every day,” she concluded.