South Florida Hospital News
Sunday January 20, 2019
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January 2019 - Volume 15 - Issue 7

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West Palm Beach VA Welcomes New Associate Director - Retired Army Brigadier General Cynthia O’Connell brings decades of healthcare operations experience.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Cynthia O’Connell as the new associate director of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. O’Connell began her role in December 2018 and is responsible for the oversight of hospital operational services to include fiscal, facilities management, medical administration, nutrition and food, police, and pharmacy services. 
 
O’Connell is a retired Brigadier General who is joining the Medical Center after serving more than 35 years in the United States Army. Throughout her military career she oversaw healthcare operations for various military treatment facilities, combat support hospital units and field hospitals. She has been stationed at various military bases to include Fort Ord, CA; Letterman Army Medical Center at the Presidio of San Francisco, CA; Wurzburg, Germany; Heidelberg Germany; San Pablo, CA; and Fort Hood, TX. Her most recent role was as the Deputy Commanding General for the 3rd Medical Command at Fort Gillen, Georgia.
 
In July 2006, O'Connell attended the United States Army War College, graduating in June 2007 with a master’s degree in strategic studies. Upon graduation from the War College, O'Connell’s follow on assignment was at the Pentagon Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. 
 
O’Connell is a combat Veteran who has deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. O’Connell has received various awards to include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze star, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the NATO Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, the Expert Field Medical Badge, and the Combat Action Badge. She is also a recipient of the Order of Military Medical Merit, the Office of The Surgeon General “A” Proficiency Designator and two Meritorious Unit Citations.
 
O'Connell completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at Loyola University of Chicago and was commissioned in the Medical Service Corps, May 1981. She also holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and is a member and Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
 
"We are proud to welcome Mrs. O'Connell as one of our newest executive leadership team members." said Donna Katen-Bahensky, director of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. "Her extensive healthcare, military and leadership experience makes her a valuable addition to the West Palm Beach VA and the veterans we are honored to serve." 
 
About the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center 
 
The West Palm Beach VA Medical Center (WPBVAMC) is a 1C-level complexity general medical and surgical facility with over 250 beds and more than 2,600 staff members providing a full range of patient care services, as well as comprehensive medical education and residency programs. All-inclusive health care is provided through primary care, emergency care and long-term care in the areas of medicine, surgery, mental health, physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiology, telemedicine, dentistry, hemodialysis, comprehensive Cancer Center and geriatrics and extended care including hospice and palliative care. The medical center provides health services to Veterans throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast at its main facility in West Palm Beach and six contractor-operated community-based outpatient clinics in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Pierce, Okeechobee, Stuart and Vero Beach. The facility also operates a 13-bed Blind Rehabilitation Service, which is the referral center for blind and visually impaired Veterans throughout the state of Florida.
 
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