VA Long Beach Healthcare System
Walt C Dannenberg | 562-826-5400
Medical Center Director
Walt C. Dannenberg assumed his role as the Director of the VA Long Beach Healthcare System on February 6th 2017. Mr. Dannenberg has overall responsibility for the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center, 5 Community Based Outpatient Clinics and a Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) for Veterans homeless issues.
Prior to Long Beach, He served as the VA Palo Alto Heath Care System’s Associate Director from June of 2013, through June of 2016 and most recently as the Acting Deputy Director. Mr. Dannenberg was responsible for insuring the health care system operational needs were in concert with VA policies and regulations, while operating with transparency to its stakeholders. Mr. Dannenberg was fully involved in policy and management decisions, developing and implementing strategic initiatives, monitoring all regulatory issues as well as affiliated entities, and assuming overall responsibility for the environment of care and major capital projects. He served critical role in budget formulation for both administrative and clinical services and promoting labor partnership relationships.
Mr. Dannenberg began his VA career as a Graduate Healthcare Administrative Fellow in 2006 at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock, Arkansas. Prior to Palo Alto, Mr. Dannenberg served as the Assistant Director for the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, Washington.
Mr. Dannenberg is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (FACHE) and served as the Vice-President of the South Texas Chapter of the American College of Health Care Executives. He holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Texas A&M University as well as a Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration and Business Administration from the University of Houston - Clear Lake. Mr. Dannenberg is a graduate of the 2009 Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 17 Leadership Development Institute and the 2010 Health Care Leadership Development Program.
Jean J Gurga | 562-826-8000x5401
Acting Associate Director
On December 3, 2017, Ms. Jean Gurga joined the VA Long Beach Healthcare System as the Acting Associate Director. Ms. Gurga comes to Long Beach from the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) where she has served as the Chief, Office of Quality, Safety & Value (QSV) since 2015. In that role, she was responsible for leading the operations and strategic direction for QSV with programmatic responsibilities for Quality & Safety, Infection Prevention & Control, Patient Experience, Process Improvement, and the Office of Education. As Chief of QSV and formerly as the Director of Process Improvement, Ms. Gurga worked closely with executive leadership in building VAPAHCS’ continuous improvement infrastructure which evolved to deploying the Service Improvement Model, VAPAHCS’ lean management system. For several years, she has coached and facilitated improvement projects at the local, VISN and national level. In addition, Ms. Gurga formerly served as the Assistant Chief of Ambulatory Care Service and was as an occupational therapist for ten years with her last clinical position being Chief of Occupational Therapy at VAPAHCS.
Ms. Gurga is a 2017 graduate of VHA’s Health Care Leadership Development Program and a 2011 graduate of the Partnership for Public Service's Excellence in Government Fellows Program. Ms. Gurga holds a master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and a bachelor's degree in Business Economics from Mills College.
Elizabeth Aubry | (562) 826-5403
Chief of Staff
Dr. Elizabeth Aubry was appointed Acting Chief of Staff for the VA Long Beach Healthcare System in July of 2017 and is board certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Aubry began her medical career with the VA in 2009 after completing a residency in internal medicine while at University of Cincinnati. As a part of Dr. Aubrey’s training, she spent time caring for Veterans at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. That experience fostered a passion to care for Veterans and ultimately influenced her decision to begin her career with the VA.
Dr. Aubry, obtained her BS in Biology from University of California Irvine and then graduated from University of Toledo Medical School in 2006. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at University of Cincinnati in 2009 and began working at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center as a primary care Physician soon thereafter. She also spent time as an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati Medical School. Dr. Aubry transferred to the Long Beach VA in September 2014 and became a Section Chief for Primary Care in July 2015. Since her transfer to Long Beach she served as a PACT champion as an associate professor for UCI Internal Medicine residency program. She has special interests in patient-centered care and process improvement.
Cory B Ramsey, RN, MHA, NEA-BC | (562) 826-8000 x5402
Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive
In August, 2016, Mr. Ramsey became the Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive for the VA Long Beach Healthcare system. This role includes oversight for Nursing, Nursing Education and Research, Sterile Processing, Pharmacy, and Social Work. As a member of Senior Leadership, he also participates in decision-making that impacts the healthcare system as a whole.
Mr. Ramsey came to VALBHS from VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver where he served as the Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive. In his capacity in Denver, he supported the delivery of care across a 45,000 square mile catchment area throughout much of Colorado. Mr Ramsey also served a 5 month period as the interim Medical Center Director.
Prior to Denver, Mr. Ramsey was the Deputy Associate Director/Deputy Nurse Executive at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, Texas. He served as the Chief of Nursing Services where he provided practice and operational oversite for more than 1100 nursing employees with an annual operating budget of over $110 million.
Mr. Ramsey graduated from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1998 and in 2007, attended graduate school at Webster University earning his Master’s in Healthcare Administration. He is a Senior Fellow from the Excellence in Government fellowship, a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and multiple nursing professional organizations. He is a board certified Nurse Executive Advanced.
Mr. Ramsey enlisted with the US Army at 18 and was trained and served as a Combat Medic. While serving, he gained entry into the US Army’s Green-to-Gold Scholarship program and became a registered nurse in 1998. That same year, he was commissioned as an Army Nurse Corps Officer and entered active duty where he trained to become a critical care registered nurse.
Dustin Thompson | 562-826-8000
Mr. Thompson was appointed Assistant Director for VA Long Beach Healthcare System in January of 2015. In this capacity he oversees administrative services such as Environmental Management, Police & Emergency Management, Occupational Safety & Health, Employee Education, Nutrition & Food, Voluntary, Canteen, Prosthetic & Sensory Aids, Privacy Office and Records Management.
His VA career began as a SCEP student at the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1998. After completing his Master’s degree, Dustin was appointed Administrative Officer for Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) in September 2000. Between 2002 and 2007 he held progressive leadership positions including Chief, PSAS in Anchorage, Alaska and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as Program Analyst in VACO.
In 2007, Mr. Thompson was named VISN Prosthetic Manager for VISN 1 (New England) where his work with compliance systems redesign was recognized as Best of the Best Practices in 2008 by the Deputy Under Secretary for Health Operations and Management. In 2009, he returned to VACO to develop the education-based Quality Site Review program that conducted Prosthetic program reviews at 56 VAs between 2009 and 2011.
From June 2011 to January 2015, Mr. Thompson was Chief, PSAS for the Palo Alto Health Care System where his team was recognized as the VHA Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service of the Year in 2012.
Mr. Thompson has a Master of Arts in Education and Personnel Administration from the University of Mississippi and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Public Relations from Mississippi University for Women. Mr. Thompson completed his Silver Belt Lean training and graduated from the Service Improvement Model Academy in Palo Alto. He is a 2008 graduate of Leadership VA and is a Senior Fellow with the Excellence in Government program at the Partnership for Public Service. Mr. Thompson is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.