James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center - Altoona, PA
Sigrid Andrew | 814-943-8164
Medical Center Director
Ms. Sigrid Andrew joined VA 26 years ago and comes to Altoona from the Hampton VAMC in Hampton, Virginia where she served as the associate director for operations. Prior to this position, she served as the chief nurse for geriatrics and extended care at the VA Maryland Health Care System, and also completed a detail as the acting associate director for operations at the Martinsburg VAMC before arriving in Hampton. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Wilmington University and a master's degree in health care administration from the University of Maryland University College. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Nurses Association.
Derek Coughenour, PT, DPT, MPM, CLD, VHA | 814-940-7841
Dr. Derek Coughenour was appointed as the Associate Director for Operations at the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona, PA, April 2018. As Associate Director, Coughenour will manage an annual budget of approximately $139 million, more than 780 employees and five Community Based Outpatient Clinics throughout the region. He will provide administrative oversight of Facilities and Environmental Management Services, Financial Management, Health Administration Services and Health Information Management Services, Human Resources, Logistics Service, Pharmacy Service, and VA Police. The healthcare system serves approximately 26,500 Veterans and receives more than 236,000 outpatient visits per year. Prior to this role, Coughenour served as the Director of Rehabilitation Services at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He completed his residency in Pittsburgh and has served at VA since 2003. Coughenour is the co-recipient of three Federal Executive Board, Excellence in Government Awards in 2012, 2014, and 2016. He graduated from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Leadership Veterans Affairs (LVA) program for executives in 2016. He completed the VISN 4 Leadership Development Institute (LDI) in 2012. He earned a Master’s in Public Management (Healthcare) from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor’s Degree from The Pennsylvania State University. Coughenour is also certified in leadership development, a VHA-Certified Mentor, and trained on Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to benefit organizational performance and outcomes.
Dr. Richard S Magee | 814-943-8164
Chief of Staff
Dr. R.Samuel Magee was named Chief of Staff of the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona, PA, April, 10 2017. As Chief of Staff, Dr. Magee serves as the lead physician of the facility, overseeing all clinical management and medical services. He will assist with the management of an annual budget of approximately $113 million, more than 780 employees and five Community Based Outpatient Clinics throughout the region. The healthcare system serves approximately 26,500 Veterans and receives more than 236,000 outpatient visits per year. Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Magee served with VA as the Chief of Surgery at the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center. Additionally, he worked at UPMC Altoona for 35 years. He was the Chairman for the Department of Surgery at UPMC Altoona for 27 years. He was the Chief of Staff there from 1998 until 2002. He also served as a trustee at UPMC Altoona from 2000 until 2017. A native of Altoona, Dr. Magee holds a MD from Temple University, Masters of Science in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Bachelors of Arts in Science from Penn State University and is a graduate from Altoona High School.
Chris Rickens | 814-943-8164
Associate Director of Patient Care Services
Mr. Chris Rickens was named Associate Director of Patient Care Services of the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Altoona, PA, in April 2019. As ADPCS, Mr. Rickens assists with the management of an annual budget of approximately $160 million. Mr. Rickens is tasked with the oversight of all nursing staff, Chaplain services, and nutrition services within the main facility and five Community Based Outpatient Clinics throughout a 14-county catchment area. The healthcare system serves approximately 26,500 Veterans and provides more than 236,000 outpatient visits per year. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Rickens served as a Registered Nurse Field Representative for The Joint Commission. Since beginning his career in healthcare in 1983 as a surgical technologist, he spent 35 years in various roles in healthcare, culminating his career as the Chief Nursing Officer at UPMC Altoona for almost 11 years. Additionally, Mr. Rickens worked as a staff nurse, charge nurse, nurse manager and director of surgical services at Bon Secours Holy Family Hospital. Born and raised in Cresson, PA, Mr. Rickens earned his Master’s in Health and Human Service Administration and Bachelor’s in Nursing from Mount Aloysius College. He has lived in Altoona for the past 22 years. He is currently a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives.