LEEDS — VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System is launching a medical provider recruitment campaign across the state targeting doctors, nurses, and other providers who desire to serve those who served their country.
VA Central Western Massachusetts Chief of Staff Dr. Seth Kupferschmid said the recruitment campaign is just the start of the medical system’s yearlong effort to bolster the number of providers on staff.
“Due to retirements and transfers, we experience a steady need for medical providers who come with excellent credentials from serving in the surrounding communities,” said Kupferschmid, who saw patients across the Pioneer Valley region before joining the VA. “A large number of our veterans live in the community, and we are currently seeking psychiatrists and primary-care providers for their increasing healthcare needs.”
Kupferschmid said the average age of veterans enrolled at the VA’s community clinics and the Edward P. Boland VA Medical Center on the main campus in Leeds is around 65.
“We anticipate that the number of younger veterans seeking care will continue to grow, and therefore we need to apply foresight to our staffing plan to meet that growing patient population,” he noted. “Now is the time for us to welcome physicians and nurse practitioners, among many other providers into our ranks — especially those engaged and enthusiastic to work with our team in caring for veterans.”
Associate Director Andrew McMahon said the healthcare system has seen an increase in the number of new veterans seeking care, and in the hiring of key staff personnel.
“Over the last four years, we’ve experienced significant growth in the number of veterans we serve and the extent to which our veterans utilize our service,” said McMahon, who oversees the medical system’s facilities. “Leadership is challenged to staff our growing and high-demand clinical service to meet these trends. We have invested a lot in our workforce recently and will continue to allocate our resources in a manner that delivers the services our patients need.”
Along with staffing resources, McMahon said, the healthcare system has also invested heartily in its historic campus in Leeds and in its seven other sites of care.
“Ongoing construction for the main campus in Leeds and clinics in the community saw $14 million in 2017 and another $19 million in 2018 for ongoing construction and improvements,” he noted, adding that these numbers don’t include the staffing budget for “hiring and retaining much-needed medical providers.”
CEO John Collins, a 30-year Army veteran, said the healthcare system’s provider recruitment campaign is essential because it’s geared at serving an ever-changing and growing veteran patient population at VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System.
“Our aim is to seek and to build strong relationships with providers in the community, including academic institutions,” said Collins, adding that the healthcare system currently has a partnership with UMass Medical School and is actively seeking others. “The bottom line is we need medical professionals who want to serve those who served our nation.”
For more information, call the Human Resources Office at the Edward Boland VA Medical Center in Leeds at (413) 582-3106, or visit www.centralwesternmass.va.gov.