IM’s VA Medical Center Receives National Award for 4th Consecutive Year | News, Sports, Jobs


Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center Veteran Experience Specialist Tim Ellison (center) and Dr. Mark Kadowaki (right), OGJVAMC Chief of Staff, receive the 2021 Best Experience Award for a Level III facility by Dr. Shereef Elnahal (left), Under Secretary of Health for the Department of Veterans Affairs, at the Customer Experience Symposium in Washington, DC, September 7. This is the fourth consecutive year that Iron Mountain VA has won the Best Experience award, the only VA system to have done so. (Photo by Veterans’ Photographer Eugene Russell)

IRON MOUNTAIN – The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center received the 2021 Best Experience Award for Tier III (Small, Low Complexity) Facilities at the Customer Experience Symposium on Sept. 7 in Washington, D.C.

“In my time with the VA, this is one of the most impressive teams I’ve worked with,” said the medical center’s acting director, Zachary Sage. “Receiving this award reflects the dedication and care our staff have for our veterans and each other. It’s a lesson in humility to be part of this team.

In 2018 and 2019, the facility received the award for Best Experience for Level III Facilities, and in 2020 the award for Best Overall Experience, beating 169 other medical centers nationwide.

Since 2012, Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center has consistently ranked in the top 10 of all VA healthcare facilities for employee and patient satisfaction, according to the VA All Employee Survey and V-Signals, which measures patient satisfaction.

Among the steps taken that contributed to this year’s success were maintaining an open-door policy with senior management and working with stakeholders to improve the patient experience, Sage said.

Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center staff members held a parade outside the Community Life Center to cheer and thank veterans for their service in honor of Friday being POW/MIA Appreciation Day. It included special recognition for one of the few remaining POW veterans of World War II. Employees then joined forces on the lawn to spell out POW/MIA in honor of all American POWs, those still missing, and their families. CLC residents were also treated to a special luncheon sponsored by donors. (Photo by Katie Maxon, Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center)

“We’ve also used Facebook Live and teleconferencing to virtually engage more than 20,000 veterans and family members since 2018, and have expanded comprehensive health programs and services by more than 40% based on veterans’ feedback. “, he added.

Outside of the VA, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use a five-star quality rating system to measure Medicare beneficiaries’ experiences with their health plan and health care system, the Star Rating Program. Ratings are on a scale of one to five stars, with five being the highest. Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center is the only VA hospital to receive a summary rating of 5 stars in every reporting cycle since VA Medical Centers were included in the Health Care Providers and Systems Rating by the hospital consumers in 2017.

To register with Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center, go to the website at and click on the “Register for care” link or stop at the center at 325 E. H St. in Iron Mountain.

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