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VA Regional Director Visits Galesburg

T.J. Carson
Judith Johnson-Mekota has worked in the VA agency for 23 years, starting as a nurse.

A new regional director for the Veterans Administration visited the clinic in Galesburg for the first time since being hired for the job in January.  Judith Johnson-Mekota will oversee the region that includes western Illinois and eastern Iowa.

She previously served the agency as Director of the V.A. Central Iowa Health Care System. 

Johnson-Mekota toured the Lane A. Evans V.A. Community Based Outpatient Clinic with Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson).

Johnson-Mekota liked what she saw at the facility and stressed she want to make sure veterans are getting the care they need.

“There may be an unplanned absence or provider storage. We’re always aggressively looking at filling those gaps. Sometimes the issue is that we don’t have provider availability,” Johnson-Mekota said.

Johnson-Mekota said the agency would try to recruit physicians to work for the V.A.  And she hoped to add dermatology and audiology services to the Galesburg clinic.

Bustos said she was impressed with the leadership in place at the clinic.

“I walk away, after stopping to talk with the veterans who are served, understanding that they feel good about when they come here.  They’re treated respectfully in a timely fashion," Bustos said.