Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Monthly Report from the Director
Scott R. Isaacks, FACHE
Medical Center Director
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Earlier this month as Tropical Storm Irma our coast, our VA team sprang into action to ensure the safety and well-being of all the Veterans in our care. While the storm flooded our streets, it also flooded our hearts and minds with images and stories of the members of our VA family who went the extra mile to ensure our Veterans were well cared for through the storm. More than 160 essential employees remained at the VA medical center, and many others worked remotely to care for the 70 Veterans we sheltered in place. From our Nursing and Physician teams, to our Housekeeping, Engineering, Nutrition and Food Service, Health Administration and VA Police staff, our team came together to complete a seamless response in the face of the storm. Here are just a few examples of our team’s extra efforts to serve during the storm:
- Volunteer driver Jesse Pace transported two of our spinal cord injury patients to other VA medical centers, staying on the road until 10:30 p.m. on Friday night to make sure they were out of harm’s way.
- VA Police LT Dareyl Stark waded into chest-deep water on Bee Street to save a family with a toddler trapped in their car as it as being swept along by flood waters. Click here for local news covereage of the story.
- Lead Public Affairs Specialist Meredith Hagen and Videographer aka Emergency Manager Charlie Tupper braved the weather to share the situation at the VAMC on our Facebook page.
- We also had more than 5 staff members who evacuated with 13 inpatients, and many others who worked tirelessly to ensure our Spinal Cord Injury, Home Based Primary Care, Community Nursing Home, and other special needs Veterans were safe.
This was a truly heroic effort by everyone involved, and our leadership team was privileged to roll up our sleeves and work alongside them at the hospital throughout the storm.
It is these types of personal sacrifices that set health care professionals apart, and it is the commitment to go above and beyond for our Veterans each and every day that sets our VA apart. As we continue to grow at a tremendous rate – we’re currently the second fastest growing VA in the U.S., and we’re growing at twice the rate of other 5 Star VA medical centers – our outstanding quality and access to personalized care continue. Once again, we have achieved our 5 Star rating that assures Veterans and their families they are receiving the very best care here at our VA. For our team, that is the driving force of our individual and collective commitments to excelling every day. We want to earn each Veteran’s trust and, as we passionately pursue excellence to improve Veterans’ lives, I hear from more and more of you that we are doing just that.
Thank you for the privilege of caring for you, and I would ask that if you know of a Veteran who needs our help and the services our VA provides to please encourage him or her to come to our VA. We are honored to serve all who have served our country.
With greatest gratitude and respect,
Scott R. Isaacks