HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Dr. Taquisa K. Simmons is officially the new executive director of the Hampton VA Medical Center.
Simmons is familiar face at the Hampton VA, having served as associate director in acting and permanent roles since 2017 and as interim medical director for six months in 2019.
“I am proud to announce the selection of Dr. Simmons as the new Medical Center Director for Hampton VA,” said Stephanie Young, Acting Director of the Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6). “She is a results-driven leader with incredible experience managing health care operations in the community as well as her work in VA, developing patient-centered policy and inspiring quality performance. We look forward to her steady leadership.”
Simmons is a graduate of Norfolk State and Regent universities, the latter of which where she earned her PhD in counselor education and supervision. She first joined the VA as a supervisory social worker in 2013.
The VA says she’s “revitalized worker performance in areas where she was assigned, improved customer service, and while at Hampton, led the safe evacuation and return of hundreds of high-risk patients during Hurricane Florence.”
Shawn Alexander has been serving as interim director since former director David Collins retired this past fall. The Hampton VA, which has more than 2,400 employees and serves about 59,000 veterans struggled with staffing issues and other challenges before and during the pandemic, coming under scrutiny from many, including Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.
The facility has improved operations since, a Navy veteran told 10 On Your Side in December. The VA says it’s currently experiencing a 17% growth (more than five times the national average) and has an operating budget of $500 million.