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VA Desert Pacific Healthcare Network


New Medical Center Director Named for Phoenix VA Health Care System

June 23, 2020

Phoenix, Arizona - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Alyshia Smith as the new Executive Director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS), effective June 21, 2020. Dr. Smith will oversee the delivery of health care to more than 132,000 Veterans and a budget of over $800 million.

"We are very happy to have Dr. Smith on board as the new director at the Phoenix VA Health Care System," said Michael W. Fisher, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 22 Director. "During her tenure in Phoenix, I believe she has earned the trust of many internal and external stakeholders."

Dr. Alyshia Smith joined VA in 2010 and has a track record of progressive professional development and career growth spanning field management experience, operations support, and program management. She had been serving as the Interim Director of PVAHCS since October 2019. In this position, she oversaw a staff of over 3,500 and all aspects of this tertiary care hospital and its 10 outpatient clinics, and the full range of their primary care, specialty care, mental health, and allied health and rehabilitative services.

Prior to her appointment as Interim Director at Phoenix, Dr. Smith had served as its Associate Director for Patient Care Services (ADPCS) and Nurse Executive sine September 2015. As the ADPCS, she was directly responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of more than 1,350 staff in Nursing, Social Work, Sterile Processing Service and the Chaplain Service. In 2019, Dr. Smith also served as the Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for VA's Veterans Health Administration, with more than 100,000 staff in its Nursing Corps. Dr. Smith began her VA career in 2010 as the Deputy Chief Nurse at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center, where she was responsible for nursing operations. Before joining VA, she served for 20 years in a large private hospital system in the areas of nursing and nursing leadership.

Dr. Smith earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her Master of Science and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees from the University of Maryland, and a Post Masters Certificate in Business and Health Care from Johns Hopkins University. She has served as clinical faculty with nursing programs at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland. Dr. Smith is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Nurse Executive, Advanced. She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) and the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

"It is an honor to have the opportunity to lead the Phoenix VA Health Care System as Medical Center Director," Smith said. "With the continued support of the Veteran community and Veteran Service Organizations, the Phoenix VA is poised to build on the current momentum of improvement and innovation. I look forward to being a part of these efforts, continuing to make a positive difference for Veterans in this community."

The Phoenix VA Health Care System is part of Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 22 and opened in 1951. It is a Joint Commission-accredited, complexity level 1b tertiary care facility serving Veterans in Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding communities in central Arizona. The System includes the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix and 10 outpatient clinics located in Gilbert, Phoenix (4), Scottsdale, Payson (contract), Show Low, Globe, and Surprise, Arizona. PVAHCS is a teaching hospital, providing a full range of patient care services with state-of-the-art technology and research. Comprehensive health care is provided through primary care, long-term care, and tertiary care in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, oncology, dentistry, nutrition, geriatrics and extended care. The Emergency Department is open 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. PVAHCS has 166 hospital beds (72 Internal Medicine, 26 Surgery, 19 ICU, and 48 Psychiatry), 104 Long Term Care Beds, and 24 Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program Beds.