Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Washington DC VA Medical Center

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My HealtheVet badge
EBenefits Badge

Leadership Team

Portrait of Brian A. Hawkins, MHA

Brian A. Hawkins, MHA | 202-745-8350

Medical Center Director

Mr. Brian A. Hawkins was appointed Medical Center Director, Washington DC VA Medical Center September 25, 2011. With more than 2,200 employees, over 90,000 Veterans enrolled for care and a budget of more than $450 million dollars, Mr. Hawkins leads one of the largest and highly visible medical centers in the nation. In addition to the main hospital, Mr. Hawkins is responsible for the Community Resource and Referral Center for Homeless and At-risk Veterans (CRRC) and five community based outpatient clinics in Washington, DC; Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and Greenbelt, Camp Springs and Charlotte Hall, Maryland.

Mr. Hawkins began his career at Chicago's Hines VA Medical Center as a Clerk/Typist. His career demonstrates continuous advancement through leadership positions which include; Medical Center Director at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Associate Director and Chief Operating Officer of the VA Maryland Healthcare System and Associate Director and Site Manager for the Perry Point VA Medical Center. He has also held positions of authority at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Atlanta VA Medical Center and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Mr. Hawkins holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences from Southern Illinois University and a Master of Health Administration from Governors State University. His unique leadership style was recognized by Veterans Health Administration (VHA) naming him 2012 "Communications Visionary of the Year". He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Senior Executives Association, and the American Pilot and Aircraft Owners Association and has been an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. A Veteran himself, Mr. Hawkins served eight years in the Illinois Army National Guard.

Portrait of Tiffany R. Smith, MPH

Tiffany R. Smith, MPH |

Acting Associate Medical Center Director

Ms. Smith was appointed Acting Associate Medical Center Director of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC in January 2016. She oversees facility operations as well as finance and accounting. Prior to accepting the Acting Associate Director’s role, Ms. Smith was the Supervisory Business Program Manager for Primary Care Operations where she managed field business operations in delivering quality-oriented, efficient, timely and safe primary health care to over 5.3 million Veterans across Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Ms. Smith began her VA career in 2005 as a Post Graduate Administrative Fellow with the VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network (VISN 17) Office. Since then, she has assumed progressive responsibility that has encompassed strategic planning support to the Oklahoma City Medical Center Director, directing more than 120 personnel at community-based outpatient clinics throughout the states of Oklahoma and Texas; managed clinical operations and medical services at the Washington DC VA Medical Center; and served as Executive Assistant to the VHA, Deputy Chief Logistics Officer.

Ms. Smith received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Prairie View A&M University and holds a Master of Public Health Degree from Texas A&M University. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE).

Portrait of Ross D. Fletcher, MD

Ross D. Fletcher, MD | 202-745-8225

Chief of Staff Emeritus

Dr. Fletcher was appointed Chief of Staff, Washington DC VA Medical Center on January 1, 2000. He retired Oct. 31, 2015.

Dr. Fletcher completed his M.D. Degree (AOA), medical house staff training, and first year fellowship at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He served two years with the U.S. Army in Washington, D.C., and received his Cardiology Fellowship training at Georgetown University.

He has served on the faculty at Georgetown University Medical School since 1969. In 1972, he became the Chief of Cardiology at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

He is the Director of the nationwide Veterans Affairs registry for the Pacemaker and Defibrillator Surveillance Center and the Core Holter Lab for cooperative studies in antiarrhythmic therapy in congestive heart failure and sudden death.

Dr. Fletcher is Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Cardiology/Medicine Special Interest User Group. He served on the VA's Information Requirement Advisory Board (IRAC) and the Clinical Application Requirement (CARG) advisory panels for computer development. He has helped develop the PC version of the VA Cardiology Package with embedded images.

He is a nationally recognized cardiologist and member of the editorial board of several scientific journals and continues to serve as Professor of Medicine with Georgetown University.

Portrait of Charles Faselis

Charles Faselis |

Chief of Staff

Dr. Charles Faselis was named Chief of Staff in April, 2016. He is the author of over 40 manuscripts and two books in Internal Medicine. He has received several teaching awards including: Attending-of-the-Year, the Osler award for teaching and the Golden Apple. He is the president of the local chapter of the American Society of Hypertension and is a member of the American College of physicians and the American Society of Hypertension. Since 2000, he has been a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society.

Dr. Faselis is a clinician educator who enjoys teaching residents and students in the inpatient and outpatient setting. His research interests include hypertension, diabetes, patient safety and medical education.
He received his medical degree from the University Of Athens School of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Cook County Hospital and Medicine Fellowship at the University of North Carolina.

Prior to being appointed the Chief of Medical Services, Dr. Faselis served as the Associate Chief of Medicine, the Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency program and also as the Associate Chief of Staff for Education and Academic Affairs. He currently is on the faculty of the George Washington University School of Medicine.

Portrait of Kathleen J. Barry RN, MHA, NEA-BC

Kathleen J. Barry RN, MHA, NEA-BC | 202-745-8000 x58220

Chief Nurse Executive

Kathy Barry has been serving as Chief Nurse Executive since August 29, 2011. Her responsibilities include providing leadership for all programs within Nursing Service including Acute Care, Geriatrics and Long Term Care and the Behavioral Health programs. She serves as consultant to more than 600 nurses and other members of the medical center staff.

Ms. Barry joined DCVAMC in November 2010 as the Deputy Chief Nurse for Inpatient Operations, and brings with her 20 years of nursing leadership experience. Kathy possesses a BSN from the University of New Hampshire and a MHA degree from Simmons College. She is board certified through ANCC as a Nurse Executive Advanced, and is a Wharton Nurse Executive Fellow. Prior to relocating to northern Virginia in 2001, Ms. Barry held a variety of clinical and leadership positions in tertiary and community teaching hospitals in the Boston, MA area. Her past clinical experience includes being a staff nurse on a large medical and oncology unit, staff nurse on a maternal child health unit, and staff nurse in a medical intensive care unit at New England Medical Center, a tertiary teaching hospital in Boston. Kathy's nursing leadership career includes being the nurse manager of the medical intensive care unit at New England Medical Center, joining Faulkner Hospital in Boston, a community teaching hospital as the Assistant Vice President for Nursing and continuing her leadership career when she joined Inova Alexandria Hospital as Chief Nurse Executive and then served as their Chief Operating Officer. Kathy received Nursing Spectrum Magazine's Nurse Executive of the Year, 2003 for the Washington, D.C./Baltimore region and was awarded second place in Advance Magazine's Nurse Leader of the Year, in 2004

Portrait of Christine M. Merna, RN, MS, PMP

Christine M. Merna, RN, MS, PMP | 202-745-8350

Assistant Medical Center Director

Christine M. Merna was appointed Assistant Medical Center Director for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC in August 2014. She is responsible for providing leadership and supervision to the Patient Centered Care Office, Patient Advocates, Nutrition and Food Service, Voluntary Service, Chaplain Service, Prosthetics and Sensory Aids, and Canteen Services.

Ms. Merna joined the Department of Veteran Affairs in 2006, following a distinguished 20 year career as an active duty Army Nurse Corps officer. Ms. Merna is an advanced practice registered nurse with over 25 years of executive level clinical and administrative healthcare experience. In 2006, following her last active duty assignment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, she joined the VA's Veterans Health Administration as a Senior Healthcare Analyst working in the VA/DoD Coordination office as project manager and clinical consultant responsible for the management and oversight of key VA/DoD initiatives. In 2009, she accepted a position as Special Assistant to the Chief Officer of the Legislative, Regulatory and Intergovernmental Affairs Office. In 2011, she joined the Veterans Benefit Administration to work in the Veterans Benefits Management System Program Management Office.

Ms. Merna obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and her Master of Science degree in Trauma/Critical Care Nursing from the University of Maryland. Additionally, she earned a post-master's certificate as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Ms. Merna is a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff College and completed a fellowship at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Ms. Merna holds an active license as a Registered Nurse in the state of Virginia and is currently nationally certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP).