Leadership Team - VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System
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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

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Leadership Team

B. Don Burman, MHA, Director, Chief Executive Officer

B. Don Burman, MHA | 402-995-3100

Director, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. B. Don Burman was appointed as Director of the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System in March 2015. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Burman was the Director, Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics (SORCC) in White River, Oregon, from February 2013 to March 2015. He led the 600-bed, free-standing rehabilitation hospital in delivering specialty services that included Ear, Nose and Throat; Radiology; Optometry; Sleep; Audiology and Dentistry. During his tenure, he increased unique patient growth from .06 to 9.1 percent. Prior to this appointment, he was the Director of the Heartland Surgical Specialty Hospital, a private-sector facility in Overland Park, Kansas from May 2009 to February 2013. During his tenure, he acquired one spine and orthopedic practice, one primary care practice and assumed the management of one ambulatory surgery center. He also reduced operating expenses by 15 percent, saving the institution approximately $2 million, and negotiated the real estate purchase options for future acquisition of land for buildings surrounding the hospital. Under his leadership, Heartland was recognized by Press Ganey as a leader in patient satisfaction for three years, recognized by Women Preferred as a facility of distinction, and recognized by the Becker group as one of the top-50 hospitals in the country. Mr. Burman served in the U.S. Air Force. He has a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Trinity University in Texas, and a Master’s of Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

David Williams, MD, MBA, Chief of Staff

David Williams, MD, MBA | 402-995-3106

Chief of Staff

Dr. David Williams was appointed the Chief of Staff for VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System in September 2016. Dr. Williams is a clinical neurologist and has served in a variety of leadership positions in the U.S. Air Force. He has 22 years of experience as a clinician and physician executive at increasingly large and complex health care organizations. This experience includes, serving four times as Chief of Staff and/or Chief Medical Officer (Chief of Staff equivalent) for a total of 10 years, and twice as Senior Advisor to the Air Force Surgeon General as Chief, Quality and Patient Safety for a worldwide healthcare system. Dr. Williams is Board Certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Julie Rickert, BSN, MBA, Associate Director for Operations

Julie Rickert, BSN, MBA | 402-995-3103

Associate Director for Operations

Julie Rickert, BSN, MBA, was appointed the Associate Director of Operations for VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System Dec. 2, 2016. She had been Acting Associate Director since May 2016. Ms. Rickert came to VA NWIHCS from the Iowa City VA where she has been the VISN 23 Prosthetics Manager since 2002. She started her career at the Long Beach VA as an ICU nurse and has held positions including nurse manager, nursing instructor, ACNS/Education, and Surgery (Product Line) team leader at the Milwaukee and Iowa City VAs. Ms. Rickert also has completed assistant and associate director details as the Eastern Colorado and White River Junction, Vt., VAs. Ms. Rickert has a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Iowa, a Master of Arts in Education from California State University at Long Beach, and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. She is a Certified VA Mentor (Resident Level); Contracting Officers Representative, FAC P/PM Certification (Senior Level); and the Chair of the Prosthetics National Professional Standards Board.

Patrick Dawson, Assistant Director

Patrick Dawson | 402-930-7019

Assistant Director

Mr. Dawson is a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He honorably served his country while on active duty for thirty years, and retired in the rank of Colonel. His most recent U.S. Air Force appointment included serving as the Executive Director of the U.S. Air Force Medical Service Corps, and Deputy Directorate, Manpower, Personnel, and Resources, Headquarters, Office of the Air Force Surgeon General, Falls Church, Virginia. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Dawson served as the Commander, 55th Medical Group, 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, where he was responsible for a 4-squadron, 718-person health care delivery system which provided care to more than 47,000 Department of Defense beneficiaries. In addition, Mr. Dawson has filled numerous progressive health services administration and leadership positions in Air Force hospitals, Major Commands, and at the Headquarters U.S. Air Force level. Mr. Dawson holds a Master of Science degree in Health Services Administration from Central Michigan University. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Military Strategic Studies from The Air War College (U.S. Air Force’s Air University), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Indiana State University. He is a long-standing board certified Fellow in Healthcare Management with the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

Eileen Kingston, BSN, MPA, Nurse Executive/Associate Director for Patient Care

Eileen Kingston, BSN, MPA | 402-995-3316

Nurse Executive/Associate Director for Patient Care

Eileen M. Kingston was appointed as Associate Director for Patient Care/Nurse Executive in August 1996. Prior to her VA tenure, she served in private and government healthcare systems focusing on medical /utilization management in nursing and patient care services. She also directed utilization management activities and medical surgical nursing in the insurance industry. Ms. Kingston has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a Bachelor’s of Nursing Degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, She is certified in nursing administration by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She has served on various VA committees including Chair, VA National Nurse Executive Council Nursing Workforce Workgroup and VISN 23 Nurse Executive Representative to VA National Nurse Executive Council. She serves on the VISN 23 Workforce Development Council. She also serves as nurse executive for the VISN 23 Surgical Specialty Care Line. She served as a member of former-Secretary Principi’s National VA Nursing Commission. Professional affiliations and community activities include membership in the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Nebraska Organization of Nurse Executives and American Health Care Executives. She has served as president of the Nebraska Organization of Nurse Executive Dist 1 (2000-2001), chaired the Membership Committee/Nebraska Organization of Nurse Executives, and the Education Committee/Nebraska Organization of Nurse Executives.