Leadership Team - Durham VA Health Care System
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Durham VA Health Care System

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Leadership Team

Paul Crews, Director

Paul Crews | 919-286-0411 Ext. 178098

Director

Paul S. Crews, MPH, CPHQ, FACHE, was appointed Director of Durham VA Health Care System effective March 19, 2018. In this role, Mr. Crews will oversee delivery of healthcare to nearly 70,000 Veterans at 10 sites of care across eastern and central N.C. with an operating budget of $750 million. Before joining the DVAHCS team, Mr. Crews served as Interim Director of the VA Western New York Healthcare System since October 2017. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director of the San Francisco VA Health Care System overseeing non-clinical operations from June 2016 – October 2017 and Associate Director from January 2016 – June 2016. He previously served as the Associate Director of the Tennessee Valley VA Health Care System (TVHS) in Nashville, Tennessee. Before that, he served as the Chief of Quality, Safety, and Value at TVHS for over four years. Prior to joining the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Mr. Crews was Associate Administrator for the Riverside Health System's Tappahannock Hospital in Virginia, Vice President of the Virginia Rural Health Association, and served as the Chair of the State's Rural Health Workgroup on Quality. Mr. Crews has over 28 years of healthcare experience which includes rural emergency medical services, hospital emergency medicine, military medicine with both the Navy and Army, rural community health planning, rural health policy analysis, healthcare quality and patient safety, and healthcare administration. Mr. Crews earned his Bachelor of Healthcare Administration degree from Texas State University and received his Master of Public Health in Management and Policy from the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University. Mr. Crews served seven years in the United States Navy. He is a member of the National Association for Healthcare Quality and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Kenneth C. Goldberg, M.D., Chief of Staff

Kenneth C. Goldberg, M.D. | 919-286-0411 Ext. 176307

Chief of Staff

Kenneth C. Goldberg, MD, was appointed Chief of Staff of the Durham VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina on August 24, 2015. He received his MD degree from Medical College of Wisconsin. His residency training was at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Goldberg previously served as an Associate Dean for Veterans Affairs, University of Central Florida College of Medicine.


Pete Tillman, Interim Associate Director, Director's Office, DURVAMC

Pete Tillman | 919-286-0411 Ext. 176904

Interim Associate Director, Director's Office, DURVAMC

Mr. Peter Tillman was appointed as the Interim Associate Director for the Durham VA Health Care System effective January 5, 2020. Mr. Tillman has worked at the Durham VA Health Care System for the past 10 years, after serving one year of VA service at the Bedford VAMC in Massachusetts. Prior to his current position, he served as the Chief of Health Administration Service, which began on November 2016. He previously served in the roles of Strategic and Facility Planner, Executive Assistant to the Director, Public Affairs Officer, and held various positions within Health Administration Service/Business Office. Mr. Tillman received a Masters of Public Administration degree and undergraduate degree, both from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the VA Health Care Leadership Development Program and the Excellence In Government program with the Partnership for Public Service. He is an active member in the local Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, serving on the Mentorship and Diversity & Inclusion committees.


Marri Fryar, Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Chief Nurse Executive

Marri Fryar | 919-286-0411

Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Chief Nurse Executive

Marri “Nicki” Fryar MBA, MHA, BSN-RN, NE-BC, VHA-CM was appointed as the Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Chief Nurse Executive at the Durham VA Health Care System effective December 2018. She was appointed as the Associate Chief Nurse Executive for Performance Improvement and Research in April 2016, and served as Acting Associate Director for Patient Care Services from January 2018 through December 2018. Marri “Nicki” Fryar, MBA, MHA, BSN-RN, was detailed as the Acting Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Chief Nurse Executive at the Durham VA Health Care System effective October 2017. She was appointed as the Associate Chief Nurse Executive for Performance Improvement and Research in April 2016. Mrs. Fryar received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from North Carolina Central University in May 1992. She continued her education and received her Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Health Administration from Pfeiffer University in August 2007. Mrs. Fryar is a VHA certified mentor and serves as a mentor for new Nurse Leaders. Mrs. Fryar leadership style is one that encourages full participation by staff, leaders, labor partners and community stakeholders. Her passion for Veteran’s healthcare is demonstrated through her dedication to her patient, their families, and to those who serve them. Mrs. Fryar has been employed as a nurse in the VA for greater than 28 years. After serving in the roles as a critical care nurse and nurse educator, she began her career in leadership in 2002 at the Durham VAHCS.


Chris Ferguson, MSHA, MSHI, Assistant Director/Greenville Health Care Center Administrator

Chris Ferguson, MSHA, MSHI | 252-830-2149 Ext. 143187

Assistant Director/Greenville Health Care Center Administrator

Before joining the Durham VA Health Care System (DVAHCS), Mr. Ferguson served as acting assistant director of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, until August 2019. Prior to that, he served as Ambulatory Care Operations Director for the VA Southeast Health Care Network (VISN 7) in Atlanta, Georgia, overseeing ambulatory operations from June 2016 – January 2020. He previously served as Health Systems Specialist to the Chief Medical Officer at the VA South Central VA Health Care Network (VISN 16) in Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Ferguson earned his Bachelor of Radiologic Sciences degree from University of South Alabama. He received his Master of Science in Health Administration and Master of Science in Health Informatic, from the University of Alabama, at Birmingham. Mr. Ferguson served in the Army National Guard and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion.


A. Christine Emler, Deputy Chief of Staff

A. Christine Emler | 919-286-0411 Ext. 178055

Deputy Chief of Staff

A. Christine Emler, MD, MHCM was hired as deputy chief of staff for the Durham VA Health Care System on October 16, 2017. Dr. Emler received her MD degree from Temple University School of Medicine. She performed her residency training in Internal Medicine at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Emler earned her Masters in Health Care Management form the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to joining the Durham VA Health Care System, Dr. Emler served as the chief of primary and clinical care at the Lincoln VA Clinic, which is a part of the Nebraska Western Iowa Healthcare System.


Kimberly Bronson, Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Chief Nurse Executive

Kimberly Bronson | 919-286-0411 Ext. 178003

Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Chief Nurse Executive

Kimberly Bronson, DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC was appointed as the Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Chief Nurse Executive at the Durham VA Health Care System effective September 2019. Prior to that, she served as the Chief Nurse for Mental Health/Dialysis at the Fayetteville VA Coastal Health Care System. Ms. Bronson received her Masters of Science in Nursing Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill August 2009. She received her board certification as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from ANCC in December 2009. She has worked in the community as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and as an adjunct professor at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC. She continued her education and received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in August 2007. Ms. Bronson is a member of the ONS MH Field Advisory Committee, a national MH Mentor for Chief Nurses, and serves as a member of the Behavioral Health Council for the VHA/Cerner EHRM project. Ms. Bronson believes in a leadership style that encourages full participation by staff, leaders, labor partners and community stakeholders. Her passion for healthcare is demonstrated through her dedication to consistently participate in activities and processes that improve patient care from all levels. Ms. Bronson began her career as a LPN and has progressively risen through the nursing ranks as a patient advocate and change agent, working to improve the health care system for both patients receiving care and nursing staff providing the care.