The Dayton VA Medical Center will be getting a new leader, replacing its former director who retired in the fall.
Jill Dietrich will take over in about 30 to 45 days as the leader of the veterans hospital after holding other high level positions at different hospitals with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Here’s what we know:
1. She’ll be taking the helm at a busy time for the hospital.
The Dayton VA Medical Center’s network includes the Dayton VA hospital and clinics in Springfield, Middletown, Lima and Richmond, Indiana, that altogether serve more than 40,000 veterans and have a $408 million budget.
Dietrich will oversee a renovation of the headquarters building that will involve building a national archive for the VA, the opening of a home to loved ones to stay at to be close to veterans who are getting impatient care, and the relocation of the Lima clinic.
2. Her appointment comes at a time of national upheaval at the VA.
Two days before the announcement of Dietrich’s appointment, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin announced sweeping plans to reorganize the VA starting with the national headquarters and the consolidation of oversight of 23 hospitals. USA Today reported that if Shulkin succeeds in implementing his goals in full, it would be the biggest transformation of the VA in more than 20 years.
Shulkin’s announcement came the same day as the release of an inspector general’s investigation of the department’s flagship Washington, D.C VA Medical Center, finding widespread problems dating back to 2013 with quality of care and fiscal management. Dietrich had been acting deputy medical center director since May 2017 at Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center.
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3. She’s the first female director in the Dayton VA’s 150-year history.
The Indiana native holds law and business degrees from Case Western Reserve University. She will take over for Dr. Thomas Hardy, Dayton VA chief of staff, who has served as interim director since October. The prior director Glenn Costie left to take a role with Ohio Hospice.
Besides serving at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical center from May 2017 to February 2018, she was associate director at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System in California since June 2015.
“(Dietrich’s) sound leadership qualities and proven experience will be valuable assets for the facility, the employees and volunteers, and most importantly, for the Veterans we are honored to serve,” said Robert McDivitt, director of the VA region that includes Ohio.