IM VA medical center cited for doing great work

It wasn’t all that long ago the Department of Veteran Affairs was drawing criticism for running shoddy and substandard VA hospitals around the country.

Several national investigations had found horrifying deficiencies at several big regional hospitals, including but not limited to peeling paint, rampant mold and indifferent staff.

Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case with the hospital in Iron Mountain. The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center has never been included on lists of poor facilities and was even cited on several occasions for providing quality care to veterans from throughout the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.

The facility received another nice accolade at a VA gathering Feb. 5-7. The Iron Mountain facility won the 2018 Best Experience Award for Level 3 — small, low complexity — facilities at the Veterans Patient Experience Symposium on in Washington, D.C.

“This award would not be possible without the commitment of our staff, volunteers, stakeholders and community health care partners,” Jim Rice, medical center director, who attended the symposium and accepted the award, said in a news release. “Our employees feel passionate about serving veterans. They are committed and accountable to the organization and each other, and are empowered by leadership to put discretionary effort into their work.”

The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center was ranked second in the nation for patient satisfaction at the end of 2018 and has consistently ranked among eight VA hospitals in the top 10 percent of all VA hospitals in terms of patient satisfaction since 2012. It was also ranked first for both employee satisfaction and best place to work in the Veterans Health Administration, based on the VA’s 2018 All Employee Survey.

So this most recent honor comes as little surprise. We’d like to offer our congratulations to the regional chorus. It’s work well done and we are pleased and proud you’re in the Upper Peninsula.