Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Monthly Report from the Director
Scott R. Isaacks, FACHE
Medical Center Director
Red Cross Blood Drive
Arp. 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Bloodmobile parked at VAMC
Earth Day Event
Apr. 27, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Main Auditorium
Stroke Awareness Month Fair
May. 3, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Main Auditorium
Women Veteran Athletes Initiative Photo Exhibit
May. 3, 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Main Auditorium
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As consumers of media content of interest to the Veteran population, you’ve no doubt seen many recent news stories, which detailed areas of concern and opportunities for improvement at a few medical centers across the nation. Here at Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, we carefully study these reports and use them to help us further shore up our current processes. Due to the consistent vigilance of our high-caliber staff, the proactive stance taken daily by our employees and patients, accountability at all levels of the hospital organization, and our continual, critical review of our operation, we have been ranked in the top 10 percent for quality – maintaining our 5-Star designation three years in a row. We have well-established processes for regularly auditing ourselves and we continue to add systems of checks and balances to ensure our patients receive the best quality, safest care each time they trust us with their health and wellbeing. We have been thoroughly reviewed by numerous entities, including The Joint Commission, a not-for-profit organization that accredits more than 21,000 U.S. health care organizations, and, very recently, the VA Office of Inspector General Comprehensive Healthcare Inspection Program. In all cases, we have done exceptionally well on these reviews, with evaluators commenting on our high patient and employee satisfaction rates. However, we have not, and will not, let our designation as one of the highest-performing VA medical centers in the country allow us to become complacent in our mission of ever-improved health care options for you – our Veterans. We hold regular focus groups and carefully discuss and evaluate all potential issues in an effort to learn and make adjustments in advance of any missteps. Our top priority is providing you with quick access to reliable, safe, unparalleled health care in a clean and welcoming environment – making every visit to our medical center one that leaves you feeling valued and appreciated. We are working hard to improve each day and will continue to do so to better serve you.
Commissioning of the USS Ralph Johnson
At this medical center, we wear a distinct badge of honor in the name we proudly bear – that of Pfc. Ralph H. Johnson. Ralph is a local hero and Medal of Honor recipient who gave his life, at the too-young age of just 19, by throwing himself on a grenade during a firefight in Vietnam, using his body to protect his fellow Marines. We are humbled by Ralph’s sacrifice and endeavor to honor him always in our daily work.
On Saturday, March 24, we had the good fortune to witness the commissioning of the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) right here in Ralph’s home town. It was an emotional event that truly paid tribute to this Veteran’s unwavering dedication to his country. I was honored to be a part of the festivities and to see Ralph’s extended family, among them his sister, Helen Richards, who still volunteers regularly at our medical center in Ralph’s memory, as they saw the true extent of our nation’s gratitude to Ralph memorialized in the Navy’s newest destroyer. The weight of this event is one that cannot be understated and it is a day that I will surely remember for the rest of my life.
Women Veteran Athletes Initiative Photography Exhibit
In the spirit of celebrating our Veterans and their successes, our medical center is very proud to sponsor a local exhibition of the Women Veteran Athletes Initiative photo project on Thursday, May 3 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Charleston VAMC Main Auditorium. This project is part of a national effort to encourage women Veterans to choose VA for their health and wellness needs.
The exhibit features 10 female Veteran athletes in photographs taken by local Air Force Veteran Stacy Pearsall. Stacy receives her care at Charleston VAMC and she completed her first series of Veteran portraits, the impetus for what would become her now nationally-recognized Veterans Portrait Project, here at our hospital. We display those images in a collection on our Hall of Heroes, located on the first floor. We are all very excited to view Stacy’s newest work while also witnessing the perseverance and courage of the athletes featured through her lens.
Heavy appetizers and beverages will be served and attendees will have the opportunity to meet the photographer. I hope that you will join us for what will surely prove to be an inspiring evening.
With gratitude and respect,
Scott R. Isaacks