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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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VA Medical Center Director Recognized for Workplace Diversity Achievements

July 23, 2010

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Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

HOUSTON – Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., M.A., F.A.C.H.E., director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, was recognized for his achievements in workplace diversity by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs during a ceremony held today in Washington, D.C.

As director (2005-2009) of the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee, Ok., Walmus made the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) a priority in achieving diversity at the medical center. The program’s success resulted in additional funding to recruit and place 18 students in FY 2008 and 25 in FY 2009. This was the highest number of SCEP interns among all VA medical centers nationwide.  Also, before his departure for Houston, Walmus converted six interns to permanent employment. This supported his goal and commitment to convert at least four interns per year. All converted interns came from historically African American and Native American education institutions. Under Walmus’ leadership, the SCEP Program was determined to be a “best practice” for the VA and other VA facilities were encouraged to follow suit. 

“We in VA are charged with a sacred trust: caring for our Nation’s Veterans. As administrators, it is our responsibility to hire employees who bring experience and expertise in not only their jobs, but in life. Having employees from all walks of life brings a deeper, truer human understanding to the care we deliver,” said George "Buzz" Gray, South Central VA Health Care Network director. “Our goal is to unlock the enormous potential of workforce diversity. Adam Walmus understands this and walks the talk.”

The Secretary’s Diversity and Inclusion and Alternative Dispute Resolution Excellence Awards was the first ceremony of its kind. These awards recognize VA employees who have made exemplary accomplishments in the areas of diversity and inclusion management and in furthering VA’s goals in the area of alternative dispute resolution.

Walmus, who has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs since 1981, serves as the chief executive officer charged with management of one of the most complex VA medical centers in the country with more than 3,500 employees and an annual budget of approximately $585 million. He holds two master’s degrees, one in Health Care Administration from Tulane University and one in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan.

A Fellow and member of the board of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), Walmus was appointed to the Department of Veterans Affairs ACHE Regent's Advisory Council. He served as a preceptor and clinical adjunct faculty member of the Health Care Administration Department at Oklahoma University and is currently a member of the graduate advisory board at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The mission of the VA Office of Diversity and Inclusion is to foster a diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment that ensures equal opportunity through national policy development, workforce analysis, outreach, retention, and education to best serve our Nation’s Veterans.

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