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VA North Texas Health Care System

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Leadership Team

Jeffery L. Milligan | 214-857-1166

Director

Jeff Milligan was appointed as Director on October 3, 2011. Milligan formerly served as Director of VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System in Harlingen, Texas, from 2008 - 2011, after also serving as Acting Director of South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio.

From 2005-2008, Milligan served as Associate Director of VA North Texas Health Care System and was previously Acting Deputy Director of Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple.

Milligan began his VA career in 1989 as a general engineer at the Nashville VA Medical Center. From 1990-1993, he served as a Project Engineer and Assistant Chief Engineer at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, Georgia. In 1994, he was selected as the Assistant Chief Engineer at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina and subsequently became the Chief Engineer, serving in that capacity for approximately five years.

He was the Administrator of the Austin Outpatient Clinic from 1999 to 2001 and served as Staff Assistant to the Director of Central Texas Veterans Health Care System from 2001-2003, at then became the Acting Deputy Director of Central Texas Veterans Health Care System.

Milligan holds a Master of Science degree in Health Care Administration from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Memphis. In 2005, he graduated from VA's Executive Career Field Training Program and also Leadership VA.

Portrait of Jeffery L. Milligan

Kendrick D. Brown | 214-857-1143

Acting Associate Director

Kendrick D.Brown currently serves as Acting Associate Director. Brown functions as a full assistant to the director in planning, organizing, developing, and leading operational activity at the VA North Texas Health Care System (VANTHCS). Brown provides direct oversight for the areas of Logistics, Engineering, Human Resources, Pharmacy, Prosthetics, Health Information Management, and Fiscal Services.

In addition to serving as Acting Associate Director, Brown is Chief of Engineering Service. He has served in the position of Chief since 2009. During this time Brown has chaired or co-chaired various committees within VANTHCS, as well as shared his expertise on VA national workgroups and committees. His role as Chief gives him direct management oversight for more than 200 employees with diverse responsibilities including medical equipment support, patient transportation, and project facilitation, with facility operations across three North Texas campuses and multiple Community Based Outpatient Clinics. Brown currently chairs the Resource Committee and Water Safety Committee.

Brown entered the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1996 as a Technical Career Field Candidate. He has served in varied capacities in the department and has advanced through the leadership ranks of Engineering Service from Projects Supervisor to Associate Chief to selection as Chief of Engineering Service at the VA North Texas Health Care System. Brown received certification as a program/project manager through the Federal Acquisition Academy.

Brown is a Certified Health Care Facility Manager through the American Society of Health Care Engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. Brown is committed to the mission of VANTHCS and ensuring all veterans receive excellent care and service.

Portrait of Kendrick D. Brown

Jeffery L. Hastings, MD | 214-857-1150

Acting Chief of Staff

Jeff Hastings, M.D. was appointed Interim Chief of Staff for VA North Texas Health Care System (VANTHCS) in April 2015. Prior to this position, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff, Director of Heart Failure Services, and Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation for VANTHCS. He is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW). In these roles, Dr. Hastings has had frequent interactions with physician staff, house staff, fellows and medical students, and he has devoted much of his time and energy to teaching.

Dr. Hastings graduated from Texas Tech University in 1997 with a Bachelorís of Science in Physics, followed by a Masterís of Science in Solid State Physics. He earned his medical degree from UTSW in 2003, after which he entered an internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship through the American Board of Internal Medicine research pathway. He completed residency training at Parkland Memorial Hospital, UTSW, and VANTHCS. With Dr. Benjamin Levine as mentor, he focused two years in research on improving the cardiovascular health of astronauts in space and reducing cardiovascular changes in humans due to aging. Dr. Hastings then completed two years of clinical cardiology training at UTSW followed by another two years dedicated to cardiovascular physiology research. He joined VANTHCS as a staff physician in 2011, and shortly after became Director of the Heart Failure and Cardiac Rehabilitation programs.

Dr. Hastings continues to support the VA research mission with continued involvement as a co-investigator for ongoing studies at VA North Texas and UTSW and as a member of the VA North Texas Research and Development Committee and Board of Directors of the Dallas VA Research Corporation. Since 1997, Dr. Hastings has had 55 publications, and he has reviewed grants for the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development MERIT section since 2013.

Portrait of Jeffery L. Hastings, MD

Eric D. Jacobsen | 214-857-1144

Assistant Director

Eric D. Jacobsen currently serves as Assistant Director. As a full member of the senior management team he performs a joint leadership role with the Chief of Staff, Associate Director for Patient Care Services, Associate Director and Director by serving as a full Assistant to the Director in the planning, organizing, developing and controlling of the health care system's activities.

Jacobsen is directly responsible for more than 1,100 employees in the 10 services under his leadership: Medical Administration, Environmental Management, Nutrition and Food, Social Work, Audiology and Speech Pathology, Police, Recreation Therapy, Safety, Voluntary Services and Canteen.

Jacobsen received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 and completed a Master of Science in Health Care Administration at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, in 1999. He began his VA career at VA North Texas in 1999 as a Health System Specialist in the Executive Office. He was assigned as the Administrative Officer for Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, and in 2001, became the Administrative Officer for Radiology. In 2003, Jacobsen became the VISN 17 Budget Analyst at the VA Heart of Texas Healthcare Network Office in Arlington, Texas. In 2005, he served as Staff Assistant to the Director before he accepted his current position in 2006.

Jacobsen is a graduate of VA's Executive Career Field Training Program and he has achieved Fellow Status (FACHE) in the American College of Health Care Executives. His continued commitment to the mission of VA North Texas Health Care System and unyielding support to the medical system is exemplary.

Portrait of Eric D. Jacobsen

Jennifer R. Purdy | 214-857-4178

Assistant Director for Outpatient Services

Jennifer Purdy was selected as the Assistant Director for Outpatient Services in October 2008.

Purdy began her VA career in 1996 at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) as a front line social worker in Geriatric Psychiatry, Acute Care Medicine Units and Primary Care clinics, and then became the Social Work Supervisor for Primary Care in 1999. In 2001, she became the Health Systems Specialist in Primary Care responsible for day to day activities of primary care clinics and the VHA performance measure program. In 2005, Purdy was Chief of Quality Management at CAVHS, responsible for the continued readiness for external surveys, patient safety program, risk management and quality of care at CAVHS. From 2006 until October 2008 she served as Executive Assistant to the Director at South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

Purdy received her bachelor's degree in Social Work at the University of Arkansas in 1993 and her master's degree in Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1995. In 1999, she completed the VA Clinical Allied Health Science Leadership Training program and in 2002 graduated from the VISN 16 Leadership Development Institute. She is currently a member of the 2008 VHA Executive Career Field class.

Purdy currently serves on the VHA Universal Health Care Services Task Force and is working to develop a universal health care plan for VHA. She maintains the dashboard for the VHA Health Systems Committee and is a VHA Carey Award Examiner and serves on numerous committees for VISN 17. In 2003, Purdy was honored as the Arkansas Federal Employee of the Year.

Portrait of Jennifer R. Purdy

Alan Bernstein | 214-857-0632

Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Alan Bernstein was appointed Associate Director for Patient Care Services in November 2012. He formerly served as National Director for Career Development and Workforce Management in the Office of Nursing Services for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for policy and program development and oversight for initiatives that support a well-educated, competent and diverse VHA Nursing workforce.

Prior to joining the Office of Nursing Services, he was Associate Chief Nurse for Long Term Care at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System's HJ Heinz Progressive Care Center. Bernstein was responsible for clinical and administrative oversight of the 350 inpatient beds and approximately 200 employees. During his tenure, he developed and implemented the Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Coordinator role for Long Term Care and integrated the advancement of MRSA precautions into patient care.

Prior to his appointment as Associate Chief Nurse, Bernstein was the Nurse Manager of Unit 4 West at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System's University Drive division. Unit 4 West is a 36 bed Acute Care Surgical Unit that demonstrated success in minimizing MRSA infection to a zero transmission rate during his leadership. Bernstein's past experience includes Nursing Informatics, Critical Care Nursing and Medical-Surgical Nursing.

Bernstein previously served as interim Associate Director for Patient Care Services at VA North Texas and Butler Pennsylvania VA Medical Center as well as numerous national VA workgroups and committees, most notably the Nursing Qualifications Standards workgroup that collapsed the dimensions of practice from 9 to 4 and developed the career pathways.

Portrait of Alan Bernstein

Gwendella C Robinson | 214-857-4910

Deputy, Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Mrs. Robinson began her VA career in 2009 at the VA North Texas Healthcare System as an Infection Prevention & Control Coordinator, and then became the Chief of Sterile Processing Service in 2010. In 2012, she became the Associate Chief Nurse for Perioperative Care where she was responsible for clinical, programmatic, and administrative oversight of nursing. In addition, she was the Acting Chief of Quality Management in 2014 responsible for continuous readiness, external regulatory compliance, patient safety, quality of care, and risk management.

Prior to joining the VA Team, Mrs. Robinson was the Service Line Leader for Surgical Services at UT Southwestern. She served over 20 years on active duty, and retired in 2007 as a Navy Nurse Corps Officer. Mrs. Robinson was deployed during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and provided medical support during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She understands the unique needs of Veterans, and strives to create an environment conducive to healing the visible and invisible wounds.

Mrs. Robinson is a board certified Nurse Executive by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is an advisory board member for West Coast University. Mrs. Robinson currently serves on the National Perioperative Field Advisory Committee and the VISN 17 Nurse Executive Council. Mrs. Robinson encourages evidence based practice, nursing research, and clinical excellence in nursing care.

Mrs. Robinson received her Bachelorís Degree in Nursing at Norfolk State University, a Masterís Degree in Healthcare Management at Webster University, and a Masterís Degree in Health Sciences from Touro University.

Portrait of Gwendella C Robinson