Late Breaking News
HARU OKUDA, MD, HAS BEEN NAMED NATIONAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR for the VA Simulation Learning Education and Research Network (SimLEARN) program. Okuda leads a staff of clinical simulationists and educators in conducting research, developing curricula and best practices and coordinating acquisitions of clinical simulation training systems in support of health care providers at VA medical centers. Before joining VA, Okuda served as the director and assistant vice president of the Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning for the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the largest municipal health care system in the United States. Okuda is the current co-chair of the educational program, Simwars, for this year’s International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare. Simwars is an inter-disciplinary simulation competition between health care providers that has been held at a number of national meetings.
VA’S ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON WOMEN VETERANS HAS NAMED four new members. Established in 1983, the advisory committee makes recommendations to the Secretary for administrative and legislative changes. The committee members are appointed to two-year terms. The new committee members are: Jack Phillip Carter, Jr., Bradenton, Fla.; Nancy A. Glowacki, Silver Spring, Md.; Nancy Kaczor, Franklin, Wis.; and Terry F. Moore, Stetson, Maine. Women veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the veterans population. Of the 23.4 million U.S. veterans, approximately 1.8 million are women. They comprise nearly eight percent of the total
veterans population and nearly five percent of all veterans who use VA health care services. VA estimates that by 2020, 10 percent of the veteran population will consist of women.
FRANK WOODRUFF BUCKLES, WHO ENLISTED IN THE ARMY IN 1917 and became the last known U.S. veteran of World War I, died on February 27, 2011, at the age of 110. Buckles lied about his age to enlist. Burial with full military honors was held at Arlington National Cemetery. A long-time resident of Charles Town, West Virginia, where he had a farm, Buckles was born in Bethany, Missouri. He enlisted shortly after his 16th birthday and served in France and Germany. At the start of World War II, he was a civilian working with a steamship company in the Philippines. He was imprisoned in a Japanese prisoner of war camp for three and a half years. In his later years, Buckles became an advocate for the expansion of a little-known Washington D.C. memorial to World War I Veterans into a national memorial.
THE WEST PALM BEACH VA MEDICAL CENTER has a new associate medical center director, Cristy McKillop. McKillop began her career in VA as an administrative fellow through the Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program. In 2008, McKillop earned the position of Capital Asset Manager for the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network, overseeing the construction, safety, real estate, energy and environmental management programs for medical centers in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
JEANETTE DIAZ, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE VA CONNECTICUT HEALTHCARE SYSTEM since May 2006, has announced her retirement effective April 1, 2011, having worked at VA for 36 years. She previously served as Associate Director of VA Caribbean Healthcare System and as Operations Manager at VISN 8 in Bay Pines. Diaz has a bachelor’s degree in Food and Nutrition from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in Nutrition and Higher Education from New York University. She has served as the Chief, Nutrition and Food Service, as well as other positions in dietetics, at VA facilities in New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and San Juan.