Andy Welch New Director Of New Mexico VA

STATE news:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall released the following statement Friday on the appointment of Andy Welch as director of the New Mexico VA Health Care System:
“I am pleased that Secretary McDonald has finally appointed a permanent director at the New Mexico VA Health Care System, Andy Welch. I met with Mr. Welch at the Clovis Community-Based Outpatient Clinic last year, and I was impressed by his dedication in serving the veterans of eastern New Mexico. New Mexico veterans have faced significant problems at the VA, including the high turnover of doctors at rural clinics, the difficulty accessing mental health care, the lack of transportation options for rural veterans, and the systemic management breakdowns at the Albuquerque hospital. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Welch as he embarks on the difficult challenge of reforming the culture at the New Mexico VAHCS and providing our brave men and women the care they have earned.”

The New Mexico VA Health Care System serves the area of New Mexico, southern Colorado and parts of West Texas. The Albuquerque system was one of 26 facilities across the United States under investigation over the summer for delays in care for veterans and falsifying documents to hide substantial delays.

Welch began his career with the VA in 1987. He has degrees from Texas A&M and Baylor. Welch has served as director of the Amarillo, Texas VA Health Care System for the last six years. The Amarillo VA system serves veterans in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, eastern New Mexico and southern Kansas. It also has outpatient clinics in Clovis and Childress, Lubbock and Dalhart, Texas.

Welch will remain in his job in Amarillo for the next 30 days before assuming the directorship in Albuquerque.