The Cincinnati VA Medical Center has had a rocky few years but new Director Mark Murdock is ready to move forward as he focuses on improving veterans' health and relationships inside and outside the hospital.
The hospital administrator - who got his master's degree at Xavier University and most recently served as director of the Chillicothe VA - says he knows of the past problems through the media, including embattled director Barbara Temeck, doctors leaving early to do surgery at other hospitals and unclean equipment.
But Murdock, who has also been associate director of the Dayton VA, is looking forward, not back. "We're going to focus on the future," he tells WVXU. "Those elements of the past, we've learned from those and not just at the Cincinnati VA but the entire VA, and we will move forward with our chin up and will will take care of veterans each and every day."
The new director started October 29 and has already had a town hall-style meeting with employees. Former director Vivian Hutson was selected to lead the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Recent rankings show the Cincinnati VA in the middle of the pack when it comes to timely access to care for veterans. Murdock says he is listening to feedback and making improvements.
"We will continue to look for new modalities that we can get veterans seen more quickly," he says. "We've really got the ability to do some great things with telemedicine, even to the point where veterans can be on their iPhone and our folks can be here in the facility or even in another location taking care of those veterans."
One recent advance is automatic appointment reminders, as our news partner WCPO explains.