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Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center


Leadership Team

Portrait of Christopher R. Bjornberg

Christopher R. Bjornberg | 509-527-3450


Mr. Bjornberg was appointed Director of the Walla Walla VA Medical Center effective January 14. 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; a contracted community clinic in Grangeville, ID; 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 is provided both on campus and through telehealth technologies. There is also an onsite residential substance abuse treatment program.

Mr. Bjornberg comes to the Walla Walla VA Medical Center with over 14 years of experience as a healthcare executive from the private sector, where he was most recently self-employed as a healthcare consultant, as well as part owner of Mental Health Clinics in Southeast Idaho. Prior to this time, his experience includes being CEO of two different hospitals specializing in healthcare in rural areas.

Mr. Bjornberg received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from American InterContinental University (AIU) in June of 2004. Continuing his studies at AIU, he then completed his first Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management in September of 2005, followed by his second MBA in Accounting and Finance in July of 2006.

Portrait of Marvin R. Crawford, MBA

Marvin R. Crawford, MBA | 509.527.3450

Associate Director for Operations

Marvin “Ray” Crawford accepted a detail to the Walla Walla VA Medical Center as Acting Associate Director of Operations effective April 10, 2017, and accepted the position full time effective August 6, 2017. He has primary oversight of the following services: Logistics, Facilities Management, Health Administration, Fiscal, Police, and Environmental Management.

A Veteran, Mr. Crawford honorably served in the U.S. Air Force for over 22 years, attaining the Rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E-9). He was selected for and participated in the Wholesale Logistics Program, a three-year focused training in Acquisition, Contracting and Procurement. Transitioning into civilian life, he was a real estate broker for a short time, focusing on international clients in the free trade alliance. He began his VA career in 2011 as the Deputy Facility Chief Logistics Officer at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, he played an integral role in helping stand up the first newly constructed VA hospital since 1995. In 2014, he was selected for the Facility Chief Logistics Officer at the VA Healthcare System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and transferred to the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System in 2015 as the Chief Logistics Officer.

Mr. Crawford earned a Master of Business Administration degree, with a major in Healthcare Management, from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Computer Information Systems, from Park University in Parkville, Missouri.

Portrait of Melanie M. Thompson, MD, MPH

Melanie M. Thompson, MD, MPH | (509) 527-3451

Chief of Staff

Melanie Thompson was appointed as Walla Walla VA’s Chief of Staff effective June 24. Her primary responsibilities include supervising the medical staff and ensuring quality of care through her roles as Chief of Staff, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff, and member of the VISN 20 Chief of Staff Committee as well as numerous local oversight and supervisory roles. She is responsible for oversight of medical services at eight facilities over a broad geographic range across three states, including the main Walla Walla, WA site; four Community Based Outpatient Clinics located in Yakima and Richland, WA; Lewiston, ID; La Grande, OR; a contract clinic located in Grangeville, ID; and two primary care telehealth outreach clinics in Enterprise and Boardman, OR.

Dr. Thompson is a physician, leader, mentor, and teacher. She most recently served as Associate Chief of Staff for Specialty Care at VA SORCC (Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics). Her recent non-VA experience includes three years as Medical Director of 11 primary care practices for MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine.

Dr. Thompson received a Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University. During that time, she served two years in Kenya as a US Peace Corps volunteer teaching secondary science. She holds an MD degree from University of Southern California, and a Masters of Public Health from UC Berkeley. She completed residency at Maine-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency, and has been board certified in family practice for 25 years.

After 11 years as Medical Director of Colby College in Maine, she began her VA career as staff physician in Urgent Care; and subsequently, Chief of Medicine at VA Maine Healthcare System. She has over 10 years of VA experience serving as acting Chief of Staff at VA Maine Healthcare System–Togus, White River Junction VA Medical Center (Vermont), and Grand Junction VA Medical Center (Colorado).

Portrait of Donna M. Wickre, MSN

Donna M. Wickre, MSN | 509-527-3450

Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

Donna Wickre accepted a detail to the Walla Walla VA Medical Center as Acting Associate Director for Patient Care Services on October 24, 2016, and accepted the position effective January 8, 2017. 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. Wickre has been in the VA system for 32 years. She began her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse at the VA Montana Health Care System at Fort Harrison, MT. After 20 years at the Montana VA, Ms. Wickre transferred to the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, WA, where she served in a number of roles ranging from frontline staff nurse, nurse manager of several different departments, as well the Deputy Chief Nurse. Most recently, Ms. Wickre served as the Community Health Nurse Coordinator serving in the departments of comprehensive caregiver support, H/HHA and Respite and Contract Community Nursing homes.

Ms. Wickre received her Associates Degree in Nursing in 1996 from Excelisor College in Albany, NY. She received both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2005 and her Masters of Science in Nursing in 2007 from the University of Phoenix.