New director named for the Atlanta VA Medical Center

VA medical care

The U.S. Veterans Affairs Department has named Ann Brown as the new director of its health care system in Atlanta, where she will oversee 4,800 employees and services for 116,000 veterans.

Brown previously led the VA’s health care system in Greater Los Angeles, the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago and the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va. She will replace Dr. Ajay Dhawan, the interim director of the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur.

The VA’s Decatur hospital on Clairmont Road drew the spotlight last month when a veteran shot himself to death outside its main entrance. More than 6,000 veterans killed themselves each year between 2008 and 2016. In 2016, 202 people died by suicide in Georgia.

RELATED: Two veterans kill themselves at separate VA medical centers in Georgia

“Ms. Brown has a proven track record as an exceptional health care leader,” VA Southeast Network Director Leslie Wiggins said in a prepared statement. “She has held progressively responsible leadership positions within the federal and private sector and has outstanding qualifications.”

Meanwhile, the VA is planning to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for its Northeast Cobb County VA clinic at 2217 Roswell Road in Marietta on May 16 at 1 p.m. Free and open to the public, the event will include guided tours.

“This facility increases access and ensures that our veterans continue to receive the high-quality health care that they have earned and deserve,” Dhawan said in a prepared statement. “We are always trying to improve services for our veterans, and the new Northeast Cobb County VA Clinic helps us do just that.”