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Southern Arizona VA Health Care System

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Leadership Team

Portrait of William J. Caron, FACHE

William J. Caron, FACHE | (520) 792-1450

Director Southern Arizona

William J. Caron (SES), FACHE, was appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) March 5, 2017. As SAVAHCS Director/CEO, his duties include the overall organization and operation ($505M operating budget, 2500 FTE, $2.5M Research Budget) of a highly affiliated 277-bed, tertiary-care teaching medical center and community based outpatient clinics throughout Southern Arizona. SAVAHCS is the principal teaching affiliate with the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, as well as 36 other institutions of higher learning.

With facilities in Tucson, Safford, Casa Grande, Sierra Vista, Yuma, and Green Valley, SAVAHCS ensures outpatient and inpatient services are available to more than 171,000 Veterans residing in a catchment area which includes eight counties in Southern Arizona and one in western New Mexico. The SAVAHCS operates a 24-hour emergency department and is the host site for various regional referral centers of excellence. The SAVAHCS supports clinical training and staff development through its VA certified advanced tier simulation center. Each year more than 1,000 physicians, nurses and other health care professionals participate in a full range of health care training programs at SAVAHCS.

Mr. Caron was a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman Reservist in college and began his medical career as a Physical Therapist in the private sector. He entered active duty in the U.S. Air Force and served as a Physical Therapist at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. He also served in leadership roles during a 14-year career in the private sector where he managed multiple clinical services.

Prior to his current appointment, he served as the Associate Director of the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in Las Vegas, Nevada. Previously, Mr. Caron served as the Associate Director at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

Portrait of Katie A. Landwehr, MBA, FACHE

Katie A. Landwehr, MBA, FACHE | (520) 792-1450

Associate Director

Katie A. Landwehr was appointed Associate Director of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) in September 2017.

She was previously Assistant Director of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) in January 2012. She provided oversight for the Clinical Care Support Service Line, which encompasses Dentistry, Prosthetics, Nutrition and Food Services, Audiology, Respiratory Therapy, Pastoral Care, Police and the Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs). She also serves as the liaison with the Office of Information Technology, Information Security and the Veterans Canteen Service.

Ms. Landwehr holds a leadership role on a variety of SAVAHCS committees to include the VERA Committee, Continuous Improvement/Systems Redesign, Medical Executive Board, Organizational Health Executive Board, Resources Board and the Executive Leadership Strategic Planning Council. She has completed Green Belt training and participated in several process improvement/system redesign teams.

Prior to her appointment as the Assistant Director, Ms. Landwehr was the Acting Associate Director at the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System (VA NWIHCS) from April - December 2011. As Acting Associate Director, Ms. Landwehr was responsible for the daily operations of each facility within VA NWIHCS. She also provided direct oversight for the Business Office, Pharmacy, Engineering, Logistics, Safety, Human Resources, Environmental Management Services, Prosthetics, Police, Canteen, Voluntary Services and Biomedical Engineering functions.

Portrait of Anthony M. Stazzone, MD

Anthony M. Stazzone, MD | (520) 792-1450

Chief of Staff

Anthony M Stazzone M.D. was appointed Chief of Staff of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) in December 2016. He provides oversight for the Education, Training, Development, Telehealth Services, Care Coordination, and Quality and Performance Management departments.

Dr. Stazzone received his MD at the University of Arizona, School of Medicine in 1998, and completed his Residency (2001) at the University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. He has earned his Board Certification in Internal Medicine (ABIM) in 2001.

Dr. Stazzone started his career in private practice with the Carondelet Medical Group and transitioned to the University of Arizona Medical Center for twelve years where he was the Chief of Staff-elect. He began his VA career as the Chief of Primary Care here at the SAVHCS in April 2015.
Dr. Stazzone holds a clinical faculty position as an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine and is engaged in the training of resident physicians and Medical Students.

Dr. Stazzone holds a leadership role on a variety of SAVAHCS committees to include the Academic Affiliation Committee, and the Care Coordination Committee. He also holds membership on the Medical Executive Board, Peer Review Committee, PACT Executive Steering Committee. He is a certified Green Belt in Lean Healthcare and is actively involved in Rapid Process Improvement Workgroups at SAVAHCS.

Portrait of Karen L. MacKichan

Karen L. MacKichan | (520) 792-1450

Deputy Chief of Staff

Dr. MacKichan has been with the VA since November 2015 as an intermittent Hospitalist and as the Assistant Chief of Medicine since June 2016. Prior to that, Dr. MacKichan was the Chief of Staff at the Yakima Regional Medical Center in Washington State and the Medical Director of the DaVita Yakima Dialysis Unit in Yakima, Washington. Dr. MacKichan is board certified in Nephrology, and has completed certification training thru the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians for Hospital Certification Quality Management (HCQM).

Dr. MacKichan attended Medical School at the University of Washington in Seattle; and completed her internship and residencies at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals in Seattle. Dr. MacKichan also established and ran a solo practice in General Nephrology for over 15 years; and was the Medical Director of the Kidney/Pancreas Transplant program at the Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois.

Dr. MacKichan is also an accomplished educator, having served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Southern Illinois University Medical School, an Instructor of Nephrology and Transplantation at the University of Washington, Seattle and as a Guest Lecturer (Nephrology) at the MEDEX Physician Assistant program and the University of Washington, Yakima.

Portrait of Steven J. Sample

Steven J. Sample | (520) 792-1450

Assistant Director

Steven J. Sample, MS, CHC, VHA-CM, was appointed Assistant Director of the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS) in January 2018.

Mr. Sample served as the Acting Assistant Director since May of 2017 to January 2018. He formerly served as the SAVAHCS Chief of Group Practice and Management Support Service Line. His VA career includes service as a Compliance and Business Integrity Officer at the SAVAHCS from 2007-2011, and an assignment with the VHA Office of Compliance and Business Integrity (10A4A), under the Office of Quality, Safety, and Value in Washington DC from 2012-2013. Mr. Sample returned to the SAVAHCS in 2013 as the Chief of Management Support and Public Affairs Officer, and became the Chief of GPM in 2015. He is a 2017 graduate of Leadership VA (LVA) and Health Care Leadership Development Program (HCLDP).

Mr. Sample is a retired Air Force combat Veteran and pilot. He served in a variety of leadership positions, completing 23 years of service in the U.S. Air Force. He was a Command Pilot and Instructor Pilot, flying combat missions during Operations Desert Storm and was the deployed Commander of a combat flying squadron during Operation Allied Force. Mr. Sample is a graduate of the Air War College and Air Command and Staff College and taught at Air University’s Squadron Officer School and the Air Force Academy.

Portrait of Kerri B. Wilhoite

Kerri B. Wilhoite | (520) 792-1450

Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Dr. Wilhoite was appointed September 3, 2018 to Tucson, AZ VAMC as Associate Director of Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive (ADPCS/NE). Dr. Wilhoite has worked at the Northern Arizona VA Healthcare System (NAVAHCS), Durham VAHCS, Washington, DC, and Tennessee Valley Healthcare System during her 20-year VA career. She has been a staff nurse, psychiatric nurse manager, Local Recovery Coordinator, Mental Health Field Advisor, Associate Chief Nurse at Durham, North Carolina and most recently a ADPCS/NE at NAVAHCS. In this role, she had oversight of the Women Veterans Program, Nutrition & Food Service, Social Work, Acute Care, Geriatric & Extended Care, Education and Sterile Processing Service. She has demonstrated the ability to recruit high quality staff in key leadership positions and mentor staff for upward mobility positions. She has experience with developing programs and demonstrated the ability to successfully deploy in a complex two-division medical centers.

Dr. Wilhoite has a passion for mentoring others and has been a coach in the Healthcare Leadership Development Program (HCLDP) for the last three years.

Dr. Wilhoite’s educational preparation includes a bachelor of science in nursing, master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in nursing practice.