Press Releases - VA Illiana Health Care System, Danville, Illinois
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VA Illiana Health Care System, Danville, Illinois


Press Releases

University of Illinois Golf Coach & Players Visit with Veterans 

Recently Mike Small, University of Illinois Golf Coach and players visited Veterans at the VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) in Danville, Illinois.

Coach Mike Smalls and Golf Team         Coach Smalls and Golf Team

Pictures Left to right:
Coach Mike Small and Golf Team visiting with Veterans

VA Illiana Health Care System Celebrates National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is celebrated the second week of May yearly in honor of Florence Nightingale
(May 12, 1820 - August 13, 1910). This particular week of reflection is also extended across America
to all nurses for their dedication to patient care and for their contributions and services to the
healthcare industry.

This year’s theme for National Nurses Week was “Nurses Advocating, Leading, Caring,” celebrated
May 7th-11th. VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) highlights of Nursing week included an invitation
for all Nurses to enjoy a free meal hosted by the Danville American Legion Post 210. Various
Nursing units and work groups created Nurse Week theme posters that were displayed during the
Celebration. The Peoria Tele-health Nurses were the winners of the poster contest. The Excellence
in Nursing Awards and Recognition Program was held on Friday, May 11th in Danville. The ceremony
concluded the week with a beautiful formal gathering and lovely reception with fresh fruits, vegetables
and cake. Nurses Week celebrations were also held at the Community Based Clinics in Decatur, Peoria,
Springfield, Mattoon, and West Lafayette throughout the week.

Each year the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement of Nursing Programs is
given to individuals who have been nominated by their colleagues for outstanding service to our
Veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs. These individuals display the best characteristics
and the highest level of dedication to their profession. VAIHCS is proud to honor the Secretary’s 2012
Excellence in Nursing Award winners:

Sandra Beaulier, RN in Expanded Role Local recipient
Diann Smith, RN in Clinical Role Local and VISN 11 recipient
Michele Price, LPN Local, VISN 11, and National recipient
Robert Wilson, Nursing Assistant Local and VISN 11 recipient

As the National Excellence in Nursing Award winner for Licensed Practical Nurse, Ms. Price will have
the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to receive her award.

In addition to the Excellence in Nursing Awards, VA Illiana HCS honored Nursing Staff that completed
advanced degrees, new specialty certifications, as well as other special accomplishments.

New Degrees:
• Betty Mosier-Johnson, MSN, Benedictine University
• Cindy Elkins, MSN, Indiana Wesleyan University
• Amanda Stevens, MSN, Indiana Wesleyan University
• Sandy Payne, BSN, Indiana Wesleyan University
• Lindsey Betout, BSN, Indiana Wesleyan University
• Cynthia Smith, ADN, Rend Lake College
• Florence Urso-Konieczki, AA, University of Phoenix

Board Certifications:
• Betty Mosier-Johnson, Board Certified in Mental Health, ANCC
• Todd Gallagher, Board Certified in Mental Health, ANCC
• Vicki Elwell, Board Certified in Wound Care, WOCN
• Charles Benninger, Board Certified in Medical Administration, AAMA

Special Accomplishments:
• Sandra Hart, named Certified Professional in Patient Safety through Certification Board
for Professionals in Patient Safety
• Joy Becker, completed Certified Nursing Assistant Program through DACC
• Karen Boland, completed Certified Nursing Assistant Program through DACC
• Drusilla Ford, completed Certified Nursing Assistant Program through DACC
• Megan Swartz-Foley, completed Certified Nursing Assistant Program through DACC

Many thanks to all who made this year’s celebration a success!

2013 Nursing Award Winners

Award winners for the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing
Left to right: Diann Smith, RN in Clinical Role; Sandra Beaulier, RN in Expanded Role;
Michele Price, LPN; Robert Wilson, NursingAssistant and Alesia Coe, Associate Director
for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

Excellence in Nursing Award Receipient

Michele Price (left), LPN receiving recognition from Alesia Coe, Associate Director for Patient
Care Services/Nurse Executive for local, VISN 11and VA National Secretary’s Excellence in Nursing

Illini Caravan Visits VA Illiana Health Care System  

New head basketball coach John Groce along with student swimmer/diver Sarah Coady visited the VA Illiana
Health Care System.  The Illini Caravan spent the day in Danville, Illinois to promote University of Illinois athletics. 
Coach Groce and Sarah met with veterans and VA staff during the visit and sign autographs.

 Illini Coach Groce                 
Coach John Groce and Swimmer/diver, Sarah Coady          

Coach Groce meets Veterans and staff

Coach Groce meets veterans and staff talk to veterans and Staff

Veterans Concert 

On Thursday, May 17, 2012, the Danville High School band and choir had their annual Veterans Concert to
recognize and honor Veterans for their contributions and sacrifices they have made for our country.  Approximately
1,000 people packed the high school auditorium.  VA Illiana Health Care System participated by giving each
Veteran a red boutonniere with red, white and blue ribbon on it.
Veteran at Veteran's Concert         Veteran receiving boutonniere for veteran's concert 

VA2K Walk and Roll Event Promotes Employee Wellness 

VA2K Run  VA2K Runners

The VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) hosted a 2K “walk and roll” event on
May 16 to coincide with National Employee Health and Fitness Day. The VAIHCS
event is just one of many 2Ks that took place May 16 at other VA facilities across the country.

Veterans Display Artistic Talents 

The Danville Art League and Recreation Therapy Service at the VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) are
working together to encourage Veterans to highlight their artistic talent to the community.  “Veterans Experience
2012” is the title of the art exhibit.  This is the second year VAIHCS and the Danville Art League have collaborated efforts. 

On April 3rd there was a reception to recognize the Veterans that are displaying their artwork at the Danville
Art League for the month of April.  There is 102 pieces of art on display that 45 Veterans created.  

The art exhibit will be available for viewing at the Danville Art League, 320 N. Franklin in Danville, Illinois
through April 28.  Hours are Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m.
to 12 p.m. (noon).

  Veterans Experience 2012 Art show
#2 – Charles Brightman of Danville, IL, performing a song he wrote about two of his high school
friends who died while they served in Vietnam.

  "Charlie's Mind" by Charles Brightman of Danville, IL painting
#100 – “Charlie’s Mind” by Charles Brightman of Danville, IL

  "My Eye" by Bekan Moss of Danville, IL drawing
#99 – “My Eye” by Bekan Moss of Danville, IL

New Director Arrives at VA Illiana Health Care System

  Emma Metcalf, Director, VA Illiana Health Care System
Emma Metcalf was appointed Director of the VA Illiana Health Care System
effective March 11, 2012. VAIHCS is comprised of one hospital, one Community
Living Center (nursing home) care unit, and five community based outpatient clinics. 

Prior to arriving at VAIHCS, Metcalf was the Chief Operating Officer at the Alvin C.
York Campus of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) effective July 6,
2008.  Metcalf was appointed the Chief of the Strategic Management Service in 2004
at the Louisville VA Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky where she also held the position
as the Administrative Officer for Associate Director of Operations in 2004.  At the Central
Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System she was the Compliance Officer from 2000 to 2004,
and the Manager of Performance Improvement from 1997 to 2000.  Prior to joining the VA,
she held positions at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science Medical Center, in Little
Rock and with Alliant Health System, Inc., in Louisville, Kentucky.

Metcalf received her Master’s Degree in Nursing in 1985 from Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky. 
She received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Jefferson Community College in 1981 and a Baccalaureate
of Science in Community Health from the University of Kentucky in 1979.  Metcalf is a Certified Case
Manager in the Case Management Society of America and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. 
She is a graduate of the Executive Career Development Program 2002.

“I have always believed the best way to care for our Veterans is to ensure they are in the middle
surrounded by all of VA staff and the services we provide to them”, says Metcalf.

There are four principles Metcalf cares deeply about to ensure Veterans receive the best possible care.  These are:
Clinical Excellence: “we should always be striving to provide the best possible care for all our Veterans”
Patient Safety: “as we care for our Veterans we must always make sure they are safe and the environment 
they are in is safe”
Clean Environment: “appearance is important as our Veterans enter a building, a clinic, an exam room, etc. 
It sets the tone and first impressions are important”
Employer of Choice: “the VA staff is our greatest asset and as Director I will ensure we provide to our staff
the resources needed to do their job to better serve our Veterans. Over my career in the VA I have always
seen that happy employees are much more productive and efficient”

Metcalf plans regularly to walk around the medical center and also visit the community based outpatient clinics
that are in Decatur, Mattoon, Peoria, Springfield, Illinois and West Lafayette, Indiana. “If you truly want to know
how things are going you need to get out and see the Veterans and the front line staff assisting the Veterans,
which I intend to do,” says Metcalf.

VA Illiana Health Care System Implements New Program for Veterans 

Recently VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) implemented a new program called Psychosocial
Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (PRRTP).  The program has 36 beds, 6 of which are for
female Veterans.  The new program is located in Bldg, 103, units 3 & 4. The length of stay for the
program is between three and six months, depending on the needs of the Veteran.  The program
is led by an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and paraprofessionals that provide programming 7
days a week and evenings.

The mission of the PRRTP is to teach and coach Veterans to improve the quality of their lives through
the development of adaptive living skills.  This is accomplished using a psychiatric residential milieu;
promoting recovery based practices; and using evidence based practices.  The PRRTP provides a
therapeutic environment wherein Veterans are supported and encouraged to pursue recovery from
mental illness, substance abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), unemployment and/or homelessness.

“This is a program that the Veterans have needed for some time and we are thrilled to be able to
provide these services”, says Judy Phillippe, Program Manager for the PRRTP.

VAIHCS had an open house on April 2nd for staff and Veterans to walk through and see the units and
to learn more about the new program.

A special thanks to the Elks and American Legion Auxiliary for donating televisions, American Legion
Auxiliary for donation of computers for Veteran patient use and items for women’s wing to create a
more homelike atmosphere and  VFW Auxiliary for providing refreshments for the open house.

VA Illiana Health Care System Implements New Program for Veterans

Veterans wanting more information on the Psychosocial Residential Rehabilitation Treatment
Program can call 217-554-5923.

Psychosocial Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program Ribbon Cutting 
VA Illiana Health care System celebrates their new Psychosocial Residential Rehabilitation
Treatment Program (PRRTP) with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Pictured: Left to right: Left to right: Lavonya Carter, Peer Support Technician; Melanie Porter, Program Assistant; 
Jeff DeBord, SARP Coordinator; Jill DeBord, Chief Social Work Service; Brandi Burke, Psychologist;
Judith Phillippe, Program Manager; Emma Metcalf, Director; Rick Vaught, Veteran; Laurel Hanetho,
Nurse Manager; Sudha Uppuluri, Chief Mental Health Service; Alan Mellow and,
VISN 11 Network Mental Health Director