Dr. Kathy Berger, medical center director for the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, has announced her departure, effective Friday, Nov. 18 2022.
Appointed as the Chillicothe VAMC medical center director in March 2019, Berger soon faced the COVID-19 crisis. She led the facility through caring for the most at-risk veterans, ensuring the 162-bed nursing home units had every safeguard available and utilized to protect the veterans.
Berger also led the facility through the announcement of the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission’s recommendation to close the Chillicothe VA Medical Center. Knowing veterans, employees and the community would be deeply affected by the news, Berger created a team to ensure that all stakeholders were heard. In April of this year, Berger hosted the VA Secretary Denis McDonough along with other VIPs so the feedback of veterans, staff and community could be shared regarding the proposed closure.
“During my time at Chillicothe we have faced critical challenges to say the least. Upon my arrival there were serious budget constraints, soon after COVID arrived, and then the AIR Commission announced the proposed closure of Chillicothe,” Berger said. “It has been a lot for our veterans and employees to absorb in the past three years. The staff at Chillicothe have shown such resilience and responded to all of these challenges with a clear and unwavering dedication to our mission.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the Chillicothe staff and to serve the Chillicothe veterans. Although leaving is bittersweet, I am looking forward to my next chapter where I will be returning to my home state of Kentucky to continue to serve veterans.”
Dr. Robert Taylor, associate medical center director, will serve as acting medical center director for the next two weeks. Jane Johnson, medical center director at the Cincinnati VA, will serve an extended assignment to Chillicothe until the position is filled.
Submitted by Alan Graves, public affairs officer, Chillicothe VAMC.