Leadership Team - Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center
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Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center

 

Leadership Team

Scott D. Kelter, Acting Medical Center Director

Scott D. Kelter | 509-527-3450

Acting Medical Center Director

Mr. Kelter was appointed Acting Medical Center Director of the Walla Walla VA Medical Center effective August 9, 2021. His responsibilities include oversight of services at the Walla Walla site; four Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Yakima and Richland, WA; Lewiston, ID; and La Grande, OR; two Primary Care Telehealth Outreach Clinics in Enterprise and Boardman, OR; and an active home-based primary care program. Services offered are ambulatory, contracting with community providers for needed inpatient, diagnostic, and therapeutic services. Specialty care services are provided both on site and through telehealth technologies. There is also an on site residential substance abuse treatment program. After serving in an acting position as Walla Walla VA's Associate Director for Operations starting January 21, 2020, he was officially appointed to that position effective May 24, 2020. For the previous 16 years, Mr. Kelter worked at the Alaska VA Healthcare System, most recently serving as the Facility Strategic Planner and Emergency Manager; he also served in several other roles to include Acting/Interim Associate Director. A Veteran, he served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force on active duty with deployments to Southwest Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe, and currently serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserves with a total of 30 years of service. Mr. Kelter holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the United States Air Force Academy and a Masters degree in Health Administration from Capella University.


Katherine A. Ferguson, MS, RPA, Acting Associate Director for Operations

Katherine A. Ferguson, MS, RPA | 509-527-3450

Acting Associate Director for Operations

Ms. Ferguson was appointed as the Acting Associate Director for Operations effective October 25, 2021. She has been serving as Walla Walla VA’s Archaeologist and Facility Planner from 2015 to 2020, transitioning to Facility Strategic Planner/Chief of Planning. Prior to joining VA, she worked for other federal agencies to include the Social Security Administration Disability and Claims Unit and the Bureau of Land Management. Ms. Ferguson has had over 22 years of professional experience in cultural resources management ranging from field work to multi-component project management. A Veteran, Ms. Ferguson served five years in the U.S. Army as a Russian and French linguist and military paralegal, stationed both stateside and in Europe. Ms. Ferguson holds an Associate of Arts in Russian from the Defense Language Institute (2003), a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology/Archaeology from Washington State University (1996), a Master of Science in Anthropology/Archaeology from Idaho State University (2001), a Paralegal Certificate from the National Paralegal College (2011), and a Certificate in Healthcare Facility Planning and Design with an emphasis in Strategic Planning (2018). She has been a registered professional archaeologist since 2007.


Jill Reiss, MD, Chief of Staff

Jill Reiss, MD | 509-527-3451

Chief of Staff

Dr. Reiss was appointed as Walla Walla VA’s Chief of Staff effective August 2, 2020. Her primary responsibilities include supervising the medical staff and ensuring quality of care to include Chair of the Clinical Executive Board, member of the VISN 20 Chief of Staff Committee, and numerous local oversight and supervisory roles. She oversees medical services at seven facilities across 16 counties and three states to include the main Walla Walla, WA site; four community-based outpatient clinics located in Yakima and Richland, WA; Lewiston, ID; La Grande, OR; and two primary care telehealth outreach clinics in Enterprise and Boardman, OR. Most recently, Dr. Reiss has been serving Veterans as Associate Chief of Staff for Specialty Care at the West Texas VA Health Care System. Since joining VA Loma Linda Healthcare System in 2014, she has held other leadership positions including Chief of Compensation and Pension and Assistant Chief of Medicine at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. Prior to her service in the VA, Dr. Reiss served as Vice Chief of Surgery and Chief of Surgery at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center. While an acute care surgeon and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Loma Linda University, she led multidisciplinary teams and encouraged an environment conducive to learning and whole person care. Having worked in rural, metropolitan, academic, community, and VHA settings; Dr. Reiss brings broad administrative experience supervising multiple services; she is committed to building strong teams dedicated to caring for Veterans. Dr. Reiss graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1998 and completed General Surgery Residency at Loma Linda University in 2003.


April L. Hughes, MSHA-QA, BSN, RN, Acting Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

April L. Hughes, MSHA-QA, BSN, RN | 509-527-3451

Acting Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

Ms. Hughes was appointed as Acting Associate Director for Patient Care Services on October 7, 2021. She has oversight of Care in the Community Service, Home and Community Based Service, Community Affairs and Voluntary Service, Contact Center, Sterile Processing Service, Transition and Care Management (formerly OEF/OIF/OND), Compensation and Pension Office, Consult Management, and Employee Health. Ms. Hughes joined the Walla Walla VA team in May of 2020 as the Chief of Quality, Safety, and Value Service. Previously, she was an infection control nurse at Durham VA Medical Center in 2012. She then joined Womack Army Medical Center (Fort Bragg, NC) serving as the Chief of Infection Prevention from 2014 to 2016, and then transitioned to the Chief of Quality Services in 2016. In the private sector, she was a pediatric and adult emergency room nurse with the Baptist Health of South Florida (Miami, FL) and an infection prevention and control nurse at the Homestead Hospital (Homestead, FL) spanning from 2004 to 2011. Ms. Hughes received an Associate of Arts in Industrial Engineering at the Miami Date Community College (Miami, FL) in 2002, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Miami School of Nursing (Coral Gables, FL) in 2004, and a Master of Science in Health Administration with a concentration on Health Care Quality Assurance from Trident University International in 2019.


Holly Isenhower, MD, PharmD, Associate Chief of Staff

Holly Isenhower, MD, PharmD | 509-525-5200

Associate Chief of Staff

Dr. Isenhower has been serving Veterans at the Walla Walla VA since August 2017 as a primary care doctor, adding on the leadership role as Associate Chief of Staff for Primary Care in October 2019. She also serves as the Medical Director for Women's Health, and has temporarily stepped into the role of Acting Chief of Staff on several occasions. She previously worked at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital (Madison, WI) as an Assistant Professor of Medicine from 2003 to 2017. She held other leadership positions such as Director of Women's Health, Chief of Primary Care, and Chief Health Information Officer. Dr. Isenhower received a Doctor of Pharmacy from the Purdue University (1996), a Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University (2000), and completed an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Wisconsin in 2003.


Susan Armstrong, RN, MSN, Associate Chief Nurse Executive

Susan Armstrong, RN, MSN | 509-527-3451

Associate Chief Nurse Executive

Susan (Sue) Armstrong was appointed Associate Chief Nurse Executive at the Walla Walla VA Medical Center in August 2020. She has oversight of the nursing staff in Walla Walla VA's Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Unit, Specialty Care, Home-Based Primary Care, and Primary Care at the Walla Walla, Richland, La Grande, Lewiston and Yakima Clinics. Ms. Armstrong earned her Licensed Practical Nurse degree in 1992, and worked in nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, home health, and Alzheimer's units before entering the VA System. Joining the mission "To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan," she started her VA career at VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, WA working in the Blind Rehabilitation Unit and Primary Care. After receiving her Registered Nurse degree, Ms. Armstrong worked in the Acute Surgical Unit. In 2018, she accepted the position of Accreditation Manager at the Walla Walla VA, and now serves on the leadership team as the Associate Chief Nurse Executive. Hailing from upper New York, Ms. Armstrong received her Graduate Practical Nurse from Orange-Ulster BOCES in 1992 and an Associate Degree in Nursing from Excelsior College in 2015. She received a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2018 and a Masters of Science in Nursing in Management and Leadership in 2020, both from Western Governors University.