Medical Center Director
Ms. Donna Jacobs was appointed Director of the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System on March 27, 2011. Prior to coming to Northern Arizona, Ms. Jacobs served as the Acting Director of the Lexington VA Medical Center from May 2010 to March 2011 and as Associate Director from February 2006 to May 2010. She served as Associate Director of the White River Junction, Vermont VA Medical Center from November 2003 to February 2006.
After employment in private sector healthcare for 14 years, she transitioned to the VA, at the Las Vegas VA HCS working 12 years in various VA leadership positions prior to advancing her executive leadership career.
Ms. Jacobs is a healthcare executive with a progressive 21 year VA Career, who is dedicated to the highest standards of quality patient care. She holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree of Science in Nursing as well as a Master's in business Administration. Ms. Jacobs is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.
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 ASUís Nutrition Department. Mr. Welsh is a Navy Veteran of 4 years and was part of the Army Reserve for 2 years.
Chief of Staff
Dr. Keith Piatt was appointed Chief of Staff at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System effective March 23, 2014.
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.
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, masterís 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.