Salem VA Medical Center leadership discusses five-star rating

Fewer than 20 medical centers received the coveted ranking

By Taj Simmons - Reporter

SALEM, Va. - The Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center appears to have accomplished its mission of providing quality care to Roanoke Valley veterans.

"We are doing this work that we have a calling to do," said Hermione Chappell, Salem VA interim chief of staff. "It's a mission to support and care for our veterans."

The Salem VA received a five-star rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs for 2018, one of only 18 hospitals to receive the ranking. The medical center also received recognition for its improvement; it only received a four-star ranking in 2017.

Chappell says the rating is a testament to the work nurses and staff put in to understanding veterans in need.

"We don't want to make an assumption that we know what our patients want and what our veterans want," Chappell said. "We want to hear from them directly and make sure we're going in the right direction."

Although the Salem VA received the highest honor possible, Chappell still expects her staff to get better at what they do.

"We call it something to live up to," Chappell said. "We feel like if we continue to strive, not rest on our laurels, and continue to look at how we do things every day, we'll continue to improve."

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