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Washington DC VA Medical Center

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Leadership Team

Portrait of Lawrence B. Connell

Lawrence B. Connell |

Acting Medical Center Director

Prior to being appointed acting medical center director at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Colonel (retired) Lawrence B. Connell served as a senior advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Mr. Connell graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and earned a Master’s degree from Troy State University in International Relations.

He entered the Army in August of 1985, is a Distinguished Military Graduate and received a Regular Army appointment in Army Aviation.

Mr. Connell’s most recent active duty assignment was Deputy Chief, Operations, Joint Cyber Center at USPACOM. Other assignments include: Section Leader and Operations Officer for the 236th Medical Detachment, Germany; Platoon Leader for the 236th Medical Company, Saudi Arabia, during Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Executive Officer for the 236th Medical Company, Germany; Company Commander, US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker, Ala.; Operations Officer, 62nd Medical Brigade; Commander, 54th Medical Company, Fort Lewis, Wash.; S-3, 62d Medical Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.; Chief Plans and Operations, I Corps Surgeon, Fort Lewis, Wash.; Chief, Operations Division, Pacific Regional Medical Command, Honolulu, Hawaii; Deputy Chief of Staff, Medical, US Army Pacific, Executive Officer, 62nd Medical Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.; Commander, 43rd Area Support Medical Battalion (P), Fort Lewis, Wash.; Command Inspector General, Army Medical Department Center and School and Fort Sam Houston, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Commander, US Army Health Clinic, Stuttgart Germany; and Chief of Staff, Pacific Regional Medical Command, Honolulu, Hawaii.

He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, as well as a graduate of the Disney Institute for Health Care Excellence.


Portrait of Jill Dietrich

Jill Dietrich |

Acting Deputy Director

Ms. Jill Dietrich was named Acting Deputy Director in May 2017.

She has been serving the VA Long Beach Healthcare System as the Associate Director since June 14, 2015. In this capacity, Ms. Dietrich oversees major administrative services including Engineering, Fiscal, Human Resources, Logistics, Health Administration Service (HAS), Health Information Management Service (HIMS) and Strategic/Facility Planning. She most recently served as the Assistant Director at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center from July 2013 – June 2015. Prior to her roles in Executive Leadership, Ms. Dietrich held progressively higher leadership positions at VA facilities in Lebanon, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; and Columbia, S.C.

Ms. Dietrich is an Indiana native, earning her BA in Political Science and Psychology from Indiana University and her JD/MBA from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. Beyond her academic accomplishments, Ms. Dietrich is a graduate of the Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) program, the VISN 10 Leadership Development Institute, the Health Care Leadership Development Program (HCLDP), and the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellows Program. She was recently accepted into the 2017 Leadership VA Class and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). Her community involvement has extended to work with Veterans Service Organizations and the American Red Cross, where she has served as a Board Member or Officer in three different communities.


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 Denise Boehm

Denise Boehm |

Nurse Executive

Ms. Denise Boehm was named Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Chief Nurse Executive in September, 2017.

She previously served as Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at the Louis A. Johnson VA Healthcare System in Clarksburg, West Virginia. from 2012 to 2017. Prior to her roles in executive leadership, she served Veterans and staff at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System as a staff nurse, critical care nurse educator, nurse manager of the Emergency Department and associate chief nurse for Primary Care.

Ms. Boehm is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has served in various professional organizations to include: local chapters of the American Nurses Association and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses where she coordinated education and community support events.

She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and a Master of Science Degree in Nursing Leadership and Education from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. She is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Nurse Executive-Advanced. Ms. Boehm completed the Network Executive Healthcare Leadership Institute (NEHCLI) and the Nurse Executive Leadership Program at the Federal Executive Institute and is a coach for the Healthcare Leadership Development Program. Ms. Boehm has been an Adjunct Nursing Faculty member at Carlow University and Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.


Portrait of Jaconda M Lightburn

Jaconda M Lightburn | (843) 789-6203

Acting Assistant Director

Jaconda Lightburn was named Acting Assistant Director of the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center in October 2017. She joins the Washington DC team from Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina where she has served as Chief of Safety, Acting Assistant and Associate Director.

Ms. Lightburn is a retired Air Force Veteran with 24 years of distinguished service. She has completed Six Sigma Training, is a Certified VHA Mentor (VHA-CM), and a Green Belt Facilitator.

Ms. Lightburn earned her M.S. in Environmental Pollution Control from Pennsylvania State University in August 2007; her B.S. in Education, Training and Development from Southern Illinois University in December 1992; an A.S. in Science from Trident Technical College in August 1992; and from the Community College of the Air Force, she earned an A.A.S (Associate in Applied Science) in Bioenvironmental Engineering in March 1989.