VA Di­rec­tor JangDhari mov­ing on to new post

Big Spring Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By ANNA GUTIERREZ Staff Writer

Kalau­tie Jangdhari came to Big Spring three and a half years ago, and it was only sup­posed to be for six months. Un­for­tu­nately, her time here at the West Texas VA Health Care Sys­tem has come to close, and she's mov­ing to Mi­ami.

“I be­lieve the big­gest ac­com­plish­ment while I was here, and not by me but by the en­tire or­ga­ni­za­tion, has been team-build­ing to re­ally fo­cus on de­liv­er­ing qual­ity ser­vices for our pa­tients,” says Jangdhari. “This is a place where I came in as an 'act­ing', and I was only sup­posed to be here for two months. That turned into over three years. That tells you about the com­mu­nity, the re­la­tion­ships, the value of our or­ga­ni­za­tion, and, most im­por­tantly, the value of peo­ple, both em­ploy­ees and pa­tients.”

“I have mixed emo­tions on leav­ing Big Spring,” con­tin­ues Jangdhari. “I know they will get good peo­ple com­ing in. The VA is ripe with won­der­ful peo­ple who have great po­ten­tial. It's melan­choly.”

“The Act­ing In­terim Di­rec­tor will be Jason Cave. He was most re­cently the Act­ing As­so­ci­ate Di­rec­tor, and he was cho­sen be­cause of his knowl­edge of the VA and this com­mu­nity and the

way he was able to help us move for­ward with his ex­pe­ri­ence and personalit­y. We are re­ally look­ing for­ward to and hon­ored that he's com­ing back in that ca­pac­ity while they do the search. James Dou­glas will be In­terim As­so­ci­ate Di­rec­tor. Both start on July 1 for up to 120 days.”

“I see so many good things on the hori­zon. It takes at least three years to re­ally move an or­ga­ni­za­tion for­ward, so hope­fully some of the things we've started and ini­ti­ated over the last three years will be re­al­ized over the next three years. We have brought back in spe­cialty care ser­vices and ex­panded the way we do pri­mary health­care ser­vices. We had a high turnover of staff, and I can say that we've been able to not only ex­pand the num­ber of staff, but also re­tain that staff.”

“With the Mis­sion Act, not only will we now be able to pro­vide that qual­ity pri­mary and men­tal health care, but we're able to work with our part­ners in the com­mu­nity for when the pa­tient wants to go some­where other than the VA. Some­times it is much more con­ve­nient for our pa­tients to visit doc­tors in their area. We are in a highly ru­ral area, and this will save some travel and of­fer an op­por­tu­nity to part­ner more with our com­mu­nity be­cause they will be­come af­fil­i­ates, of a sort, and we'll be able to man­age the com­pre­hen­sive care for the pa­tients. They will still be based with the VA, and that's what we want to do is pro­vide for their whole-health and of­fer those ser­vices that we're not able to pro­vide by us­ing our com­mu­nity part­ners.”

“I want to thank the com­mu­nity. They have been the big­gest sup­port­ers of this VA. Dur­ing some of the tough­est and most chal­leng­ing times, they've lifted the VA up and sup­ported the VA. The stake­hold­ers have been ac­tively en­gaged in pro­vid­ing in­put so that we can help make a dif­fer­ence. I hope they re­al­ize we've heard what they've said, and we've tried to change ac­cord­ingly for the bet­ter­ment of the veter­ans.”

“Fi­nally, I'd like to thank the staff. Lead­er­ship can come and go, but with a good plan made by the peo­ple who are do­ing the work, any­one can come in and lead a great or­ga­ni­za­tion. I was able to do that be­cause of the staff we have. It's be­cause of the good peo­ple that are here for the right rea­sons and do­ing the right things.”

HER­ALD photo/Amanda Du­fo­rat

Re­cent West Texas VA Health Care Sys­tem Di­rec­tor Kalau­tie JangDhari, cen­ter, min­gles with well-wish­ers at her farewell re­cep­tion last Thurs­day. JangDhari will be tak­ing over as di­rec­tor of a VA Health Care Sys­tem in Mi­ami.

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