By Meredith McCulloch
At an “Assumption of Duties “ ceremony at the VA hospital, Dr. Joan Clifford will be installed as the new Medical Center Director of Bedford’s Veterans Administration Hospital at 11 am on July 14. The formalities will be one event amid other festivities celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital.
Dr. Clifford is already heading up the hospital, having arrived on March 19, which happens to be the birthday of Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers for whom the hospital is named.
Clifford lives in Everett where she was born and raised. Her father was a veteran of World War II. She has spent her whole professional life in the VA system, and just prior to this appointment, served as the Deputy Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Access to Care for the Veterans Health Administration.
Her experience in nursing began as a nursing assistant. From there she went on to receive more education, concluding with a doctorate in Nursing Practice from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professionals.
Early on she had dreamed of running her own nursing home. A friend reminded her recently of that wish and that now it has been fulfilled. She oversees a nursing facility that serves 300-350 inpatients plus numerous outpatients. She noted that with 35 years in the Veterans Administration her experience for the position is both practical and operational.
Acknowledging that the Bedford VA has recently been through some troubled times, she went on to say that it has already started moving in a more positive direction. Her primary goals are two: 1) to focus on employee engagement, and 2) to improve the veteran’s experience. She stressed that employee engagement goes beyond job satisfaction, but means that employees take part in the improvement of the whole operation.
For more information on the July 14 event celebrating the 90th anniversary of the hospital, go to https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/event/us-navy-band-concert-90th-anniversary-celebration-bedford-va/