, SC — COLUMBIA, SC — The Columbia VA Health Care System (HCS) is pleased to announce the appointment of A.L. Jackson Slappy, MD, MS, FACS, as the new Chief of Staff (COS), effective Feb. 25, 2022.
Dr. Slappy will be assuming the role in place of Dr. Bernard Dekoning, who has served as the HCS’ COS for eight years.
“The Columbia VA Healthcare System will forever hold a special place in our hearts with memories we will cherish forever,” said Dekoning. “The unique skills Dr. Slappy brings to the Columbia VA [HCS] will enable it to maintain its high level of performance and bring it to even greater heights. I feel extremely proud to have transitioned the COS responsibilities to Dr. Slappy. He will truly excel.”
Dr. Slappy started his VA career at the Atlanta VA HCS in 2013, holding the positions of Chief of General Surgery, Acting Chief of Surgery, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff, and Acting Chief of Staff. Dr. Slappy holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned his MD from Emory University School of Medicine in 2000.
When asked about his new position as the Chief of Staff, Dr. Slappy said: “Throughout my military and civilian careers I’ve had the privilege of providing care for our service members and veterans as a surgeon, educator, and health care leader. This opportunity is truly meaningful and the highpoint of my medical career.”
Dr. Slappy gained entrance into the U.S. Navy’s Health Professions Scholarship Program while attending Emory. Upon completing his residency in general surgery at the Mayo Clinic in 2005, he was placed on active duty and assigned to Naval Hospital Charleston (later Naval Health Clinic Charleston).
While serving in Charleston, Dr. Slappy deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Officer-in-Charge of a Shipboard Surgical Team and served aboard the Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen (DDG 92) and the maritime prepositioning force ship USNS GYSGT Fred W. Stockham (T-AK 3017) with Marine and Navy special forces.
Speaking on the transition in leadership, Columbia VA HCS Director/CEO, David L. Omura said: “The past 8 years of working with Dr. Dekoning have been wonderful. He was a great leader that was 100% committed to the team and our mission. While Dr. Dekoning will surely be missed, we are fortunate to have Dr. Slappy relieving him as the Chief of Staff. I have full confidence in Dr. Slappy. He is a trusted leader who brings a wealth of clinical leadership experience and expertise to our organization.”
“I am very impressed by the facility, staff, and its leadership team here at Columbia,” said Slappy. “I truly feel I can help move Columbia forward as a national leader in Veteran care, while gaining valuable experience as a leader and clinical provider.”
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