Leadership Team - New Mexico VA Health Care System
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New Mexico VA Health Care System

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Leadership Team

Andrew M. Welch, MHA, FACHE, Medical Center Director

Andrew M. Welch, MHA, FACHE | 505-265-1711 Ext. 2220

Medical Center Director

Mr. Welch began his VA career in 1987 as a dietitian at the Audie L. Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. In 1990, he moved to the Kerrville VA Medical Center as an Administrative Dietitian and, in 1993, was promoted to Chief, Nutrition and Food Service. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Amarillo VAHCS in which he was responsible for the delivery of health care to Veterans living in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, eastern New Mexico and southern Kansas. The health care system maintains 44 acute care inpatient beds and a 120-bed skilled nursing home care unit. The health care system also ensures health care is accessible to those Veterans residing in rural areas through four community-based outpatient clinics located in Childress, Lubbock, Dalhart, TX and Clovis, NM Mr. Welch received a Master's Degree in Food Science and Technology from Texas A&M University in 1988 and a Master's Degree in Health Administration from Baylor University in 2001. He is a board certified health care executive and a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives.

Sonja Brown, Associate Director

Sonja Brown | 505-265-1711 Ext. 2076

Associate Director

Ms. Sonja Brown was appointed as the Associate Director in September 2017. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Brown served as the acting Associate Director from December 2016 through August 2017. Ms. Brown served as the Chief, Voluntary Service and Public Affairs Operations at the New Mexico VA Health Care System for 20+ years. She has served in several acting roles within the NMVAHCS to include facility Director and Chief of Police. She began her 28 year federal career at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma in Human Resources and has worked at the Miami and West Palm Beach VAMCs. Ms. Brown served as Chairperson of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee/Combined Federal Campaign for four years and is a member of the local Federal Executive Board. She is a Fellow Level Mentor. Ms. Brown volunteers in the community and was appointed in February 2017 by the Mayor of Albuquerque to serve as Chairperson of the City of Albuquerque Personnel Board. She is also a children’s book author. Ms. Brown has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.

Katrina Bressler, Assistant Director

Katrina Bressler | 505-265-1711 Ext. 2076

Assistant Director

Ms. Bressler was selected as the Assistant Director of the New Mexico VA Health Care System in January 2014. She started her VA career in 2000 at the Amarillo VA Health Care System as a Community Living Center Dietitian. In 2007, she began serving as the Chief, Nutrition and Food Services. In addition to her NFS Chief role, Ms. Bressler provided significant leadership related to Amarillo’s Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) and Lean Program implementation. Ms. Bressler has a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from Texas Tech University, and is a 2009 graduate of the VISN 18/19 Leadership Development Institute, as well as a graduate of the VA’s Health Care Leadership Development Program, class of 2012.

James M. Goff Jr., MD, FACS, Chief of Staff

James M. Goff Jr., MD, FACS | 505-265-1711 Ext. 2702

Chief of Staff

James M. Goff, Jr., MD, FACS, was appointed Chief of Staff of the New Mexico VA Health Care System on November 13, 2016. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Goff served as the Chief, Surgical Service, from February 2011 to November 2016. Dr. Goff is a Veteran Army surgeon who served for 15 years on active duty. During his active duty service, Dr. Goff served in clinical and administrative roles in nearly every echelon of military health care. He served as a Battalion Surgeon for an armor/mechanized infantry task force with the 1st Infantry Division during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and as the Deputy Hospital Commander/Senior Triage Officer with the 48th Combat Support Hospital during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Dr. Goff completed his residency in General Surgery and fellowship training in Vascular Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). Dr. Goff obtained additional fellowship training in Endovascular Therapy at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Goff maintains dual board certifications in General Surgery and Vascular Surgery. Dr. Goff graduated from the Tulane University School of Engineering with a degree in Biomedical Engineering through the United States Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship Program as a Distinguished Military Graduate and he was commissioned as a Regular Army Officer. He remained at Tulane under the United States Army Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and graduated from the School of Medicine. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, National Engineering Honor Society, and Alpha Omega Alpha, National Honor Medical Society. Dr. Goff has particular interest, expertise, and experience in performance improvement at the section, service, and facility levels. He is a graduate of the VA Improvement Advisor Academy, a VHA certified mentor, and he is Lean Blackbelt Certified.

Katrina Hansen-Schmitt, DNP, FNP-BC, Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Katrina Hansen-Schmitt, DNP, FNP-BC | 505-265-1711 Ext. 6040

Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Katrina E. Hansen-Schmitt, DNP, FNP-BC, was appointed as Associate Director for Patient Care Services in August, 2019. Prior to coming on board here she served as the Associate Director for Patient Care Services at VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) from January 2014 to August 2019. Prior to her ADPCS/NE role, Dr. Hansen-Schmitt has held positions as Associate Chief Nurse, Geriatrics and Extended Care and as Nurse Practitioner for Home Based Primary Care on the island of Maui from 2006 to 2013. She has served in the VA for 16 years. She went to the VAPIHCS from New Orleans, LA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Hansen-Schmitt retired from the United States Naval Reserve in 2007, after 20 years of service as Lieutenant Commander, Nurse Corps. As the Associate Chief Nurse for Geriatrics, she provided oversight of the Community Living Center (CLC) at the VAPIHCS, as well as supervised the CLC day-to-day operations. She provided nursing oversight for the Share the Care, Community Nursing Home, Hospital at Home, Caregiver Support, and Hospice/Palliative Care programs. She is a VA certified mentor, and has completed the VA Leadership Development Institute (LDI) and Geriatric Scholars program for Rural Health. Dr. Hansen-Schmitt graduated from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1993). She arrived in New Orleans VA as a Health Professional Scholar graduate beginning her new career as a floor RN on the Telemetry Unit. She progressed to the Step Down Unit, then the Surgical Intensive Care Unit as a Certified Critical Care RN. In 1998, she began to pursue her Master's Degree in Nursing at Louisiana State University Graduate School of Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received funding through a mentorship program working with one of the VA Nurse Practitioners. She was assigned to the Inpatient Mental Health Unit as a Family Nurse Practitioner, providing primary care to those patients. She later received her Doctorate in Nursing Practice Degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2013 through the National Nursing Education Incentive (NNEI). Dr. Hansen-Schmitt is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Golden Key International Honor Society, the Hawaii Association of Professional Nurses, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She holds current American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and as a Board Certified Nurse Executive.