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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


Women's History Event: Insight from VA leaders

This year VA is participating in Women’s History Month by celebrating the success of women and women Veterans.

This year VA is participating in Women’s History Month by celebrating the success of women and women Veterans.

By Erin Curran, Public Affairs Specialist
Monday, March 21, 2016

March is set aside as Women's History Month to honor and highlight the contributions made by women to our nation.  VA is participating in Women's History Month by celebrating the success of women and women Veterans.  This year's national theme, Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government, reflects the impact women have had in government service at the VA to advance the medical care provided to Veterans.  

On March 25, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center will hold a two hour program to acknowledge this special month.  Beginning at 11 a.m. in the Charleston VAMC main auditorium a panel will discuss the expansion of women leadership roles at the medical center and honor those who are serving.  The program is sponsored by the Diversity Committee's Federal Women's Program, which works year round to assist in the recruitment, development, training and advancement of women in the respective career.

"This program is important because even though the VA promotes equality and inclusion of all employees, there is always room for improvement," said Charleston VA Social Worker and this year's event coordinator Carol Conway.  "During past Federal Women Program events, participants often asked about resources to build their leadership skills or about ways to advance within the VA system.  I thought the panel would be a good way to honor current leaders and to hear from them about what helped them to advance.  Women helping women is a perfect way to honor this year's theme."

The panel includes women who play diverse leadership roles at Charleston VAMC.  Each of the below listed panelists is a current leader with valuable insight related to leadership within the VA:

  • Pamela Crowell, Associate Medical Center Director
  • Anna Birks, Telemental Health Section Chief
  • Dustyn Nicole Coxe , Chief of Nursing Education
  • Desralei Jackson, Equal Employment Manager, U.S Air Force Veteran
  • Felicia A. Smith, Supervisory Medical Support Assistant, U.S. Army Veteran
  • Paula M. West, Supervisory Medical Support Assistant

"The event for this year was inspired by Sheryl Sanberg's book 'Lean In,'" said Conway.  "'Lean In' tackles two fronts--career advancement and home life improvement.  It focuses on what women can do at work to advance their careers and what they can do at home to realistically balance the two.  I am hoping that the program will allow women to have an open, honest dialog and to have a place where we can connect, share ideas and offer support to one another."

The panel discussion will be followed at noon by a networking reception encouraging attendees to connect, inspire and empower one another.  This event is free and all are welcomed to attend. 


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