VA chief takes new post in Chicago

Magill to take charge of embattled facility with long list of problems

Veterans Administration Medical Center Director Marc Magill announces a town hall meeting for veterans in light of the wait time issues plaguing the VA.

Grand Junction Veterans Administration Medical Center Director Marc Magill is headed to Hines, Illinois, to temporarily take charge of Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Administration Hospital near Chicago, where allegations of patient wait lists and contaminated food have plagued the hospital’s effectiveness in recent months.

Auditors from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs visited the hospital last week to investigate some of the allegations, according to area news reports.

“I’m on a temporary detail to Hines VA Hospital,” Magill said. “Sometimes the VA will transfer its senior executives on a temporary basis to a place where their skill sets might be utilized.”

Magill is slated to spend four months at the helm of the VA hospital in Hines, but has no plans to stay in Illinois.

“I’m definitely looking forward to the fall in Grand Junction,” he said.

After 30 years as an administrator in the VA system — including almost three at the head of the Grand Junction center — Magill said his professional experience could be of some help to the veterans in Illinois, many of whom have questions about the care they are receiving. He made the same pledge to Chicago veterans that he made to Grand Junction veterans when he arrived here in July 2014 — “visibility, transparency and accountability of leadership, and that includes patients and staff.”

“Chicago has a very large campus,” he said. “It’s a very complex medical center. It has an affiliation with Stritch School of Medicine and Loyola University. They have three labor partners. It’s a huge operation and I look forward to being a part of that.”

Magill said he had “complete confidence” his Grand Junction administrative team will operate the local center smoothly until his return.

“I’m very honored to be asked to go to Hines,” he said, “but I think it also speaks well about the staff we have here (in Grand Junction).”

He plans to share helpful techniques and processes developed in Grand Junction that he believes can improve the system at Hines.

“I’m proud to serve veterans. I believe in the VA,” he said. “There’s a lot of good outcomes at the VA, but unfortunately, we don’t get to hear about them very often.

“To me, it’s all about access — making sure our veterans get the right care at the right site at the right time, obviously, by the right staff, using the right technology,” Magill said.


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