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G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center


Regional Director Selected

Rica Lewis-Payton, VISN 16 Network Director

Rica Lewis-Payton, VISN 16 Network Director

By James Theres, Public Affairs Office
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Office of Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management (DUSHOM) would like to welcome  Mrs. Rica Lewis-Payton to the role of Network Director, Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN) 16, the South Central VA Health Care Network, effective January 22, 2012.  


Mrs. Lewis-Payton was officially appointed as the Medical Center Director (MCD) of the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center (BVAMC) in August 2008. As the former MCD, Mrs. Lewis-Payton had overall responsibilities for planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling medical, administrative, and supporting operations of a complexity level 1B facility. BVAMC is a 138-bed tertiary care teaching hospital, which provides comprehensive health care through primary care and tertiary care in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, oncology, dentistry, geriatrics, and palliative care to over 58,000 veterans in 24 Northeast Alabama counties. The facility serves as the tertiary care referral center for Alabama Veterans and host the South Eastern Blind Rehabilitation Center. There are nine (9) community based outpatient clinics (CBOCs) that are VA staffed. There is an annual budget exceeding $325 million and there are approximately 2000 employees.


Mrs. Lewis-Payton previously served as the Deputy Network Director of VISN 16 from September 2004-August 2008, and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the second largest health care network in the VA. She provided operational oversight for ten (10) VA Medical Centers and 40 CBOCs.  She was responsible for strategic leadership and management direction for all finance, logistics, capital assets and workforce development operations. Mrs. Lewis-Payton served in this capacity during Hurricane Katrina and was credited with providing outstanding leadership during a national emergency. Following the retirement of the Network Director in July 2007, she served as Acting Network Director until November 2007. During her tenure as Acting Network Director she routinely met with VA and VHA leadership, Congressional members and staff, Department of Health and Human Services leaders, Louisiana government officials and healthcare leaders, as well as testified before VA oversight committees regarding the rebuilding of the healthcare system  in New Orleans, LA.


Mrs. Lewis-Payton previously held positions as the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs/Dean of the Medical School at the University of Mississippi, and as the State Medicaid Commissioner of Mississippi.




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