June 13, 2008

Veterans Affairs Medical Center Salutes New Amarillo, Texas, Medical Chief

By David Pittman, Amarillo Globe-News, Texas

Jun. 12--Andrew Welch is the new director of the Thomas E. Creek Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Amarillo.

He takes over for Byron Jaqua, who retired late last year.

Welch will head the 69-bed acute care hospital at 6010 W. Amarillo Blvd., and its 120-bed nursing home. The center also operates outpatient clinics in Childress, Lubbock, Stratford, Clovis, N.M., and Liberal, Kan.

The system treats roughly 25,000 patients annually.

Welch visited the Lubbock outreach center Wednesday and was unavailable for an interview.

The hospital announced earlier this year it will spend $18 million to build two free-standing clinics, including an outpatient mental health clinic, and renovate its emergency room.

Welch served as associate director of the VA health system in San Antonio, according to a news release. He was responsible for the daily operations of the system with a $524 million annual budget.

Welch also has been an administrator for the VA hospital in Biloxi, Miss., at outpatient clinics in Mobile, Ala., Pensacola, Fla., and Panama City, Fla.

Welch received a master's degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Texas A&M University in 1988 and a master's degree in Health Administration from Baylor University in 2001. He is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives.


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