Monthly Report from the Director - Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
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Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


Monthly Report from the Director

Charleston VAMC Hospital

May 2019

Medical Center Director Scott Isaacks
Scott R. Isaacks, FACHE
Medical Center Director

Upcoming Events

Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic Groundbreaking Ceremony featuring Keynote Speaker and Medal of Honor Recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (retired)
May 31, 10 a.m.
Northwest corner of Howard Avenue and Airpark Drive, Myrtle Beach

VA MISSION Act implementation
June 6

Suicide Prevention Takes Everyone
Veteran's Crisis Line:
1-800-237-8255 and Press 1
Online chat at: 
Text: 838255

Charleston Fisher House:
1,076 Families Served

For previous Director's Messages, click here.

You can also download a printable version of this message.

Earlier this month our VA had the pleasure of hosting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie as he gave the keynote address for our Clinical Annex Groundbreaking in North Charleston followed by a visit to our medical center. He discussed the importance of VA to our country and how fortunate we are to live in a greater community where the respect due to those who have served in the military needs no explanation. He also said he believes Veterans who receive care in VAs such as ours will continue to choose us for their care in the future, which is our goal as we prepare for the VA MISSION Act to go into effect on June 6. Secretary Wilkie recognized our team for the high-quality and access we provide each day to our rapidly growing patient population. Secretary Wilkie’s Post and Courier interview published on May 4, reads: “Wilkie called the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston the second- or third-best agency hospital in the country. Veterans Affairs has 170 hospitals across the U.S.” While we appreciate these accolades, it does not change our commitment to never rest in our goal of providing the best care anywhere for you - our Veterans.


As we prepare for the implementation of the MISSION Act, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is proud to continue providing the highest quality health care and access to that care within 20 days for Primary Care and Mental Health and 28 days for Specialty Care in 99% of our medical clinics. Our team continues to work hard to meet and exceed the required timeframes for providing care that are part of the VA MISSION Act for our rapidly growing Veteran patient population. We also made the decision several years ago to move Primary Care, Mental Health and select Specialty Care closer to our Veterans in their VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics. We are committed to providing the outstanding VA care recognized by numerous studies by such entities as Dartmouth and Northwestern University published in the Journal of the American Medical Association as care that is as good as or better than care available in the private sector for every Veteran.

The VA MISSION Act puts Veterans and their needs at the center of their care. Through it, VA will:

  • Provide you with more options for health care,
  • Offer an improved community care process,
  • Provide a new urgent care option,
  • Help you get access to the care you need at the right place at the right time,
  • Offer you great service through a nationwide network of high-quality care,
  • Provide more Veteran-to-Veteran peer specialists,
  • Expand the program to support Veteran caregivers.

 Through the MISSION Act, VA now has additional opportunities to enhance our high-quality health care to our nation’s Veterans. For additional information on the VA MISSION Act visit

Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic Groundbreaking

On Friday, May 31 at 10 a.m. we are excited to break ground on our second new clinical site, the new consolidated Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic. The ceremony, featuring Medal of Honor Recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (retired) as keynote speaker, will be held at the clinic site located at the northwest corner of Howard Avenue and Airpark Drive. This highly anticipated new outpatient clinic in Myrtle Beach will provide 84,000 net usable square feet to expand existing services in the area. In addition to primary care and mental health services, the clinic will provide telehealth and tele-mental health, dermatology, podiatry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, prosthetics, optometry, audiology, compensation and pension, blood collection and an optical shop, as well as radiology services including general, CT, ultrasound, bone density and the capability to add MRI and other specialty care.

We are continually pursuing ways to expand and improve the care we deliver to our Veterans to meet the needs of every patient, every day in convenient locations that enhance access to VA services. Your support and partnership particularly in sharing the news of our VA is a critical part of our success. Thank you for your ongoing dedication to our Veterans, for helping share our VA story across our community and for your continued support of our VA.


Director's signature

Scott R. Isaacks