As of June 7, 2019, I retired as the director of the Fargo Veterans Affairs Health Care System. I want to take this opportunity to thank the communities we serve for their unwavering support of our veterans and the Fargo VA HCS during my time as director.

The Fargo VA HCS provides care to more than 33,000 veterans in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota and, in many ways, it is one of the top performing VAs in the country, with exceptionally high patient satisfaction and employee satisfaction scores. It also meets and often exceeds quality standards when compared to other healthcare entities in our region.

It has been an honor and a privilege for me to work alongside some of the most dedicated staff members anywhere. Also, nearly 500 individuals volunteer their time at the Fargo VA, and our external stakeholders (congressional delegates, veteran service officers, members of national veterans service organizations, and others) play a key role in our continued success

Like any organization, we continuously strive to do better. To help us in this endeavor, the VA MISSION Act, also known as the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening integrated Outside Networks Act, was signed into law by the president on June 6, 2018. We began implementation of the VA MISSION Act on June 6, 2019. This legislation has more than 50 segments but the most significant change for the veterans in our market is related to expanded options for community care. Veterans can learn more at www.missionact.va.gov or they can call their local VA clinic. Veterans who are not currently utilizing the VA should check their eligibility for VA services by visiting their county veteran service officer or by calling the VA at 877-222-8387.

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At VA, our motto is to uphold President Abraham Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” I am so blessed to have been a part of such an important mission for the past 23 years. Thank you to all veterans and their family members for their service to our nation.