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Northern Arizona VA Health Care System


Leadership Team

Portrait of Malcolm Keith Piatt, MD, FACP, MHA

Malcolm Keith Piatt, MD, FACP, MHA | (928) 445-4860 ext 6009

Acting Medical Center Director

Dr. Keith Piatt was appointed Chief of Staff at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System effective March 23, 2014 and has been the Acting Medical Center Director since November 30, 2015.

Dr. Piatt is a 1985 graduate of the University Of New Mexico School Of Medicine, where he was selected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He served his internship, residency, and chief residency at the Good Samaritan Medical Center/Carl T, Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was named intern of the year and resident of the year. After completion of his residency, Dr. Piatt joined the staff at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center. He was responsible for the establishment of the first multidisciplinary HIV clinic in 1990 and was awarded the Secretary's "Hands and Heart" honor in 1992. He was selected as the Associate Chief of Staff for Ambulatory Care Services in 1995 and oversaw the opening of seven community based outpatient clinics, four in the metro Phoenix area and rural clinics in Payson, Globe, and Show Low, Arizona.

Dr. Piatt completed work on a Master's degree in Health Care Administration in 2006 through Seton Hall University and was chosen to give the commencement address. He has been selected five times as one of the "Top Doctors in Phoenix" by Phoenix Magazine.

Portrait of James T. Johnson, MD

James T. Johnson, MD | 928-445-4860, ext. 6961

Acting Chief of Staff, Manager For Quality & Performance Service Line

Dr. James Johnson was appointed Acting Chief of Staff at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System effective November 30, 2015.

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Medicine, where he was selected as one of two “integrated residents” for Internal Medicine. This program was designed to accelerate entry into residency for selected medical students during their fourth year. The candidates interviewed during their third year and started their residency in the second term of the fourth year. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency as a dual resident of the Harry S. Truman VHA/University of Missouri program. Prior to medical school, Dr. Johnson taught college for seven years after completion of his MSEd at the University of Kansas in the subject area of Exercise Physiology. Dr. Johnson was commissioned as a Navy officer during his first year of Residency, and served active duty in the Navy following completion of his residency. During his seven year tenure with the Navy, he served as Pacific Patient Transfer Coordinator, Emergency Management Medical Coordinator, certified as a Population Health/Epidemiologist, Department Head for Internal Medicine and Ambulatory Care Clinics and launched the first ICU telehealth program between Naval Hospital Guam and Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. After leaving the Navy, Dr. Johnson was in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona until joining the NAVAHCS as the Associate Chief of Medicine in 2010. Dr. Johnson has served as the Chief of Quality Programs, Designated Learning Officer and Medical Review Officer since 2012. Dr. Johnson has worked in diverse areas of medicine to include academic, military, private practice, corporate medicine and VA.

Portrait of Michael J. Welsh, RD, BS, MS

Michael J. Welsh, RD, BS, MS | 928-445-4860 ext 6553

Associate Director

Mr. Michael Welsh was appointed as Associate Director at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System effective March 9, 2014.

Mr. Welsh has 16 years of experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs and has served in various roles during his career. He began his career as Training Dietitian for the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS) in March of 1998 and then Administrative Dietitian and the Chief of Nutrition, Hospitality and Food Service in April of 2002. Mr. Welsh was detailed six months as Associate Director for the West Texas VA Health Care System as well as an eight month Administrator for the PVAHCS Southeast Community Based Outpatient Clinic. He has been the Patient Centered Care champion for the past four years for the PVAHCS. Nationally he has been involved in the implementation of the Prime Vendor Contract team and Subsistence User Group since 2003. Other national teams include the Healthy Diet Committee, the VistA Information Management Group, the Computrition User Group, the Revenue Generation Group, and the Dietetic Manual Revision Group.

Mr. Welsh received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Arizona State University in Human Nutrition. He is a member of ACHE and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He is a graduate of the 2011 VHA Health Care Leadership Development Program and the 2003 VA Management Development Program. Mr. Welsh is an Adjunct Professor teaching medical ethics for Arizona State University (ASU) and the Chair of the Nutrition Advisory Committee for ASU’s Nutrition Department. Mr. Welsh is a Navy Veteran of 4 years and was part of the Army Reserve for 2 years.

Portrait of Kerri B. Wilhoite, DNP, MBA/HCM, RN, NEA

Kerri B. Wilhoite, DNP, MBA/HCM, RN, NEA | 928-445-4860 ext 6557

Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

Ms. Kerri B. Wilhoite was appointed as Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System effective March 9, 2014.

Ms. Wilhoite has worked at the Durham VAHCS, Washington, DC, and Tennessee Valley Healthcare System during her 16 year VA career. She has been a staff nurse, psychiatric nursing manager, Local Recovery Coordinator, Mental Health Field Advisor, and most recently the Associate Chief Nurse at Durham, North Carolina. Ms. Wilhoite has current oversight of all daily operations of inpatient and outpatient mental health programs, Operating Room, Post Anesthesia Recovery unit, 23 hour observation unit, chemo clinic intravenous therapy team and two acute medical surgical units. Ms. Wilhoite was also responsible for recruitment and retention of nurses across the continuum.

She has led multiple teams, served as chair or member on key nursing and multidisciplinary committees, councils and improvement teams at the medical center, VISN and national levels. She has demonstrated the ability to recruit high quality staff in key leadership positions and mentor staff for upward mobility positions. She has experience with developing programs and demonstrated the ability to successfully deploy in a complex two-division medical center.

Ms. Wilhoite's educational preparation includes a bachelor of science in nursing, master’s degree in business administration and is currently completing a doctorate in nursing practice with an expected graduation date of May 2014. She holds American Nurse Credentialing Center certification as a Nurse Executive, Advanced level. She is a VHA certified Mediator. She is a graduate of VISN 9 Leadership Institute, VACO Federal Nurse Executive Institute, and VACO Health Care Leadership Development Program. Ms. Wilhoite holds an Adjunct Faculty appointment at three various universities.