Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Ronnie Smith, MSHA, MBA | 843-789-7500
Ronnie Smith is the Associate Director at the Ralph H Johnson VA Medical Center. Mr. Smith was previously the Associate Director of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS). He previously served as Acting Associate Director there since January 2016. Mr. Smith also served as Assistant Director of TVHS starting in November 2014. At TVHS, Mr. Smith oversaw Logistics, Fiscal, Engineering, the Business Office including Community Care, Privacy, Environmental Management, Voluntary, Police, Comp & Pen, and executive oversight of CBOC services. Mr. Smith served as the Health Systems Specialist to the Deputy Medical Center Director at the Portland VA Medical Center starting in 2010. The facility was awarded the VA Robert W. Carey Award for Excellence in 2013. During his time, Smith helped oversee the following services: Business Office, Finance, Facilities Management, Environmental Management, Quality and Performance, Human Resources, Voluntary Services, Logistics, Health Information Systems, and Purchased Care. Mr. Smith also served in roles as Acting Deputy Medical Center Director and Acting Assistant Director. Mr. Smith joined the VA at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia as a resident in the VA Graduate Healthcare Administrative Training Program. There he also served in roles as a Budget Analyst, Business Manager/Project Manager in Engineering, and Staff Assistant to the Director and Assistant Director. Mr. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management from the University of Alabama and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is married with two wonderful daughters and a good, old beagle.
Olivia Freda, MHA | 843-789-6190
Acting Associate Director
Olivia Freda is the Assistant Director for the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Freda served as the Acting Associate Director at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, Mississippi from March 2019. Ms. Freda’s prior experience includes serving as the Acting Assistant Director of the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Health System Specialist to the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management (DUSHOM) as well as Staff Assistant to VHA Chief of Staff in VA Central Office. Ms. Freda started her VA career as Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP) fellow in 2009 at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center progressing to several positions as Health System Specialist for a number of service lines including, Internal Medicine, Radiology, and Patient Care Services. Ms. Freda is originally from Bronx, New York. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and Psychology from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and a Master’s degree in Health Administration from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In 2018, she graduated from the Health Care Leadership Development Program and is a member of American College of Health Care Executives.
Florence N. Hutchison, MD | 843-789-7202
Chief of Staff
Dr. Hutchison is Chief of Staff at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and Associate Dean and Professor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is a graduate of Millsaps College and the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center in San Francisco, CA, and a fellowship in nephrology at the VA Medical Center in Martinez, CA. Dr. Hutchison is board certified in internal medicine and nephrology. After completing her fellowship, she served as a staff nephrologist at the VA Medical Center in Martinez, CA, and was also Assistant Professor of Medicine at UC, Davis. Dr. Hutchison became Chief, Dialysis Unit at the VA Medical Center, Charleston, South Carolina, in 1989, as well as Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She was named Chief, of Medical Specialty Service in 1997, and was appointed Chief of Staff in 2000. She is also a Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for VA Affairs at MUSC. Dr. Hutchison has served as the Director of the VISN 7 Research Service Line, the Chair of the VISN 7 Compliance Committee, a member of the VHA National Finance Committee, and as an advisor to the National VA Office of Research Compliance and Assurance. She has served as Program Chair for the National Women in Nephrology organization, as a member of the Program Committee for the National Kidney Foundation, the Public Advisory Committee for the American Physiological Association, the nominating committee of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the OQUIN Foundation. She was Co-Chair of the VHA Systems Improvement Subcommittee of the Systems Redesign Steering Committee and on the VHA Chiefs of Staff Advisory Board and numerous other national committees. Dr. Hutchison recently served as the Acting Chief Medical Officer for VISN 7 for more than
Garett Schreier, MSN, RN | 843-789-7411
Associate Director for Patient/Nursing Services
Garett Schreier, MSN, RN, was appointed as the Associate Director, Patient Care Services/Executive Nurse at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC on May 1, 2016. He served in the same capacity at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC since August 2013. Mr. Schreier served as the Director of Quality Management at the Lebanon VA Medical Center, Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and was the Deputy Nurse Executive at the Lebanon VA prior to his role in QM. Mr. Schreier served a detail to VA Central Office to support the implementation of the Caregiver Support Legislation. Mr. Schreier has been an Associate Chief of Nursing Service for Geriatrics and Extended Care, Acute Care, and Mental Health at various times during his VA Career. During this time Mr. Schreier served as the Clinical Nurse Advisor for the Geriatric Nursing Field Advisory Committee for the Office of Nursing Services. Mr. Schreier is a Veteran of the United States Navy and served as a Fleet Marine Force Navy Corpsman. Mr. Schreier went on to receive a commission as a Nurse Corps Officer. Mr. Schreier holds a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix and Bachelor of Nursing from York College of Pennsylvania.
John Potter, MHA | 843-789-7066
Acting Assistant Director
John Potter, MHA, was designated as the Acting Assistant Director in September 2019. He joined Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in June of 2008. Prior to this detail, Mr. Potter served as the Health System Specialist to the Director at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and has served in this capacity since October 2013. From 2008 to 2013, Mr. Potter served in several different roles at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center to include Program Analyst in Strategic Planning, Acting Administrative Officer for Surgery Service, and Health System Specialist to the Associate Director. He started his VA career as an Administrative Fellow in 2008 at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Mr. Potter is originally from North Augusta, South Carolina. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree double majoring in Management and Real Estate from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina in 2006 and a Master’s degree in Health Administration from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina in 2008.