DANVILLE – Japhet Rivera has been appointed as the new director of the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System.
Rivera will oversee delivery of health care to more than 33,000 veterans in Central Illinois and West Central Indiana with an operating budget of more than $200 million.
“We are excited to bring Mr. Rivera on board as the new Medical Center director,” said Paul Bockelman, director of Veterans Integrated Service Network 11, which includes the Danville VA.
“His strong leadership qualities and experience will be valuable assets for the facility, the employees and volunteers, and most importantly, for the veterans we are honored to serve. They will be in good hands under his stewardship.”
Bockelman said Rivera brings a wealth of experience gained from his VA and military assignments, adding, “These qualities make him exceptionally well-qualified to take the reins of the VA Illiana Health Care System.”
Rivera is expected to arrive at the medical center within the next 45 days to begin his appointment.
Prior to his current assignment, Rivera served as acting director at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kan.; acting director for the Caribbean Healthcare System in San Juan, Puerto Rico; deputy director for the Caribbean Healthcare System; and associate director for the Miami VA Health Care System. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Department from 1987-2007.
While serving as acting director, Rivera improved veteran access and implemented a successful middle management training program focused on mentoring and diversity acceptance.
Rivera said, “I’m excited to be part of an already strong leadership team and support continued progress as we strive to provide the high quality care America’s veterans have earned and deserve.”
Rivera replaces Emma Metcalf, who joined Illiana in March 2012 and left in August 2013 for a job at the VA in Lexington, Ky.