Leadership Team - Amarillo VA Health Care System
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Amarillo VA Health Care System


Leadership Team

Dr. Rodney Gonzalez, Medical Center Director

Dr. Rodney Gonzalez | 806-355-9703

Medical Center Director

Dr. Rodney Gonzalez was appointed as the Medical Center Director for the Amarillo VA Health Care System (AVAHCS) on June 7, 2020. As such, Dr. Gonzalez is responsible for all Veteran health care services under the umbrella of the AVAHCS, a Joint Commission accredited, complexity level-2 facility with 44 operating beds and 120 Community Living Center beds. With a budget of more than $220,000,000 and approximately 1,250 employees, this health care system serves more than 27,000 Veterans in 50 counties in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, as well as eastern New Mexico. The Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Amarillo, Texas, serves as the main campus and provides inpatient, outpatient, and specialty care services, along with key administrative support services. The Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Lubbock, Texas, provides outpatient and specialty care services, while three other clinics located in Childress, Texas; Clovis, New Mexico; and Dalhart, Texas provide primary care and tele-medicine services. Dr. Gonzalez has nearly 30 years of service in the U.S. Army and health care with experience in executive-level management, policy development, strategic planning and programming, operations, and communications. Prior to joining the VA, Dr. Gonzalez served as Chief of Staff (Deputy Director) for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. During his military career, Dr. Gonzalez had multiple deployments to Kuwait and Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism. He served in numerous leadership positions to include Interim Director of two hospitals, Deputy Commander, Clinic Commander and Command Surgeon. Dr. Gonzalez is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and was subsequently commissioned into the Army Medical Service Corps in 1993. He graduated from New York Medical College and earned a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1998. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2020 with the rank of Colonel.

Mark Rielo, Associate Director

Mark Rielo | 806-355-9703

Associate Director

Mr. Mark Rielo was appointed as the Associate Director of the Amarillo VA Healthcare System (AVAHCS) effective January 19, 2020. In this capacity, he is charged with the overall administration of Fiscal Service, Logistics, Environmental Management, Engineering, Health Administration, Police, Prosthetics, Safety, Contracting, Canteen, OI&T, and Human Resources. Prior to joining AVAHCS, Mr. Rielo was the Ambulatory Care Operations Director/Group Practice Manager at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System from 2016-2019. While in this role he focused on improving access to care for Veterans, implementing new scheduling practices and directing the development of innovative tools to make providing care easier. Mr. Rielo started his VA career in 2007 as an Administrative Intern at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System where he found a niche for Data Analytics and Systems Redesign. Upon completion of his internship, he served as the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System Data Manager from 2007-2010. Mr. Rielo then went on to serve as the VISN 22 Data Manager/Systems Redesign Coordinator for the VISN 22 Network Office from 2010-2013. He then moved on to serve as the Supervisory Health System Specialist to the Chief of Staff at VA Loma Linda Healthcare System from 2013-2016. Mr. Rielo also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Loma Linda University School of Public from 2013-2018, teaching courses in Healthcare Organizational Management, Quality Management, and Healthcare Economics. Mr. Rielo earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California, Riverside in 2002, a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Riverside in 2005, and a Master’s in Public Health from Loma Linda University in 2007. Mr. Rielo is a VHA-Certified Mentor, graduate of the VISN 22 Leadership Development Institute program in 2010, and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Dr. Sameh F. Moawad, Chief of Staff

Dr. Sameh F. Moawad | 806-355-9703 Ext. 7004

Chief of Staff

Sameh Moawad, MBChB, DO was appointed as Amarillo VAHCS Chief of Staff on July 22, 2018. As the Executive Physician, Dr. Moawad has been providing clinical leadership, to include strategic planning, policy making, and clinical oversight over all clinical operations at Thomas E. Creek VAMC, and all VA Outpatient clinics that operates under Amarillo VAHCS. He has been providing continuous process improvement in all clinical areas, and direct supervision to all clinical service chiefs across the organization, which include Ambulatory Care, Audiology, Pathology and Laboratory, Mental Health, Occupational Health and Rehabilitation Medicine, Pharmacy, Surgical service line, Care Management and Social Work Services, Geriatrics and Extended Care, Medicine Service Line, Dental Service Line, Emergency Medicine, VA community Care and Diagnostic Radiology, in addition to the Medical Staff Office, Clinical application, Academic Affiliations, Medical Education, Women's Health and Whole Health Programs. Dr. Moawad has been very successful with other stake-holders in improving Veterans access to care, Veterans experience, and the quality of healthcare provided to the veterans at Texas Panhandle, and the facility was successful to achieve 5 stars rating on SAIL for four consecutive quarters from FY2018 Q4 through FY 2019 Q3. Recently, the STAR rating was replaced by another methodology utilizing Hospital Compare, where the Amarillo VAHCS continues to perform well against private sector and VA hospital networks. Dr. Moawad is a board certified primary care physician, a diplomate of the AOBFP. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine with TTUHSC. Prior to his current appointment as Amarillo VAHCS COS, Dr. Moawad served as Amarillo VAHCS Acting COS from March 2018, and he was appointed as Amarillo VAHCS Associate Chief of Staff Ambulatory Care Services since September 2017.Prior to that Dr. Moawad was appointed as the Associate Chief of Staff of Ambulatory Care services, the CMO of Lubbock VA Multispecialty Clinic in Lubbock, TX on July 10th 2016. Prior to that Dr. Moawad, at the beginning of his VA career served as a primary care PACT physician, and a HBPC physician, Before he started his VA Career, Dr. Moawad had his Primary care Private practice for several years. Dr. Moawad earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Diploma from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, of NY Institute of Technology, Dr. Moawad completed a residency in Family Medicine at Edward Via Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine ( Virginia Tech) BRMC, later he had served as a clinical assistant professor of Family Medicine at Virginia tech. Dr. Moawad completed, The Health Care Leadership Development Program (HCLDP) Class of 2018a. Dr. Moawad has served a 3-year term, and he continues to serve on the national level as the VHA physician Liaison to the VHA Risk Management Advisory Council ( CRM) since July 2017, and he also has served and he continues to serve as VHA physician advisor to Risk Management Boot Camp for Physician leaders, since February 2018.

Dr. Catherine Ewing, Nurse Executive

Dr. Catherine Ewing | 806-355-9703 Ext. 4142

Nurse Executive

Dr. Catherine Ewing was appointed Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive of the Amarillo VA Health Care System (AVAHCS) in Amarillo, Texas in May 2020. In this capacity, she is responsible for Patient Care/Nursing Services, Nutrition and Food Services, Sterile Processing, Education, and Chaplain Services. Prior to joining AVAHCS, Dr. Ewing was the Chief of Quality, Safety, and Value and prior to that the Chief of Inpatient Service at the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Dr. Ewing began her VA Career in 2008 at the Oklahoma City Veteran Affairs Healthcare System (OKVAHCS) as a Registered Nurse-Charge Nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. While with the OKVAHCS she served in a variety of roles including Critical Care Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager-Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Nurse Manager-Nursing Education, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Institutional Review Board Member, Post Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Program Director, and the VA Nurse Academic Partnership (VANAP) Program Director in collaboration with the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing. Dr. Ewing stepped away from the VA for a few years and served as the Nurse Executive at Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation in Bethel, Alaska and Chief Nursing Officer at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition, she brings to the organization over 30 years of experience in Nursing in an array of specialty areas including long term care, orthopedics, critical care, emergency care, education, research, and leadership. She is very passionate about evidence-based practice, nursing research, professional growth of nurses, and the delivery of quality safe patient care. Educational Background: Dr. Ewing received her Associate of Science-Nursing from Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City, OK; Bachelor of Science-Nursing from Oklahoma City University in Oklahoma City, OK ; Master of Science-Nursing Education from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, OK; and her Doctor in Nursing Practice-Advanced Leadership in Healthcare from Regis University in Denver, CO. Dr. Ewing is a graduate of the 2015 VISN 16 Leadership Development Institute.