Leadership Team - North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System
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North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System

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Leadership Team

Thomas Wisnieski, MPA, FACHE, Director

Thomas Wisnieski, MPA, FACHE | 352-548-6027


Thomas J. Wisnieski became the fifth Director of the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System when he reported for duty on June 4, 2012. In previous appointments, he served as the Director of the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System, and oversaw the construction of six new clinical and administrative buildings on the Biloxi campus. These new facilities replaced buildings which were destroyed on the Gulfport campus by Hurricane Katrina. He also served as Associate Director and Acting Director of the VA Medical Center in Columbia, SC; Associate Medical Center Director at the Alexandria, LA, VA Medical Center; and Acting Medical Center Director at the VA Healthcare Network Upstate New York at Bath. Mr. Wisnieski’s management career began when he was selected as a Health Systems Specialist in Canandaigua, NY. At this facility he was responsible for the Diagnostics and Therapeutics Care Line and served as Assistant Chief of Environmental Management Service. Having achieved the high honor of Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Mr. Wisnieski was also a participant in the One VA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program Class of 2010. He is a graduate of the Leadership VA Class of 2004 and successfully completed all requirements for graduation as a member of the 2003 Executive Career Field Class. Mr. Wisnieski received a Master’s in Public Administration with Healthcare Emphasis degree from the State University of New York at Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Millersville State College in Pennsylvania. He also is certified by the Rochester Institute of Technology in Continuous Quality Improvement and Facilitation. Mr. Wisnieski has received numerous awards during his VA career including the Secretary’s Hero Award for leadership following Hurricane Katrina; Under Secretary for Health’s Innovation Award for Customer Service Initiatives; and the “Staying Alive Award” for his leadership during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This award was presented by the Alexandria VA and the displaced New Orleans VA staff members working at the Alexandria VA Medical Center. Mr. Wisnieski and his wife, Cheryl, have five children.

Wende Dottor, Deputy Director

Wende Dottor | 352-548-6012

Deputy Director

Ms. Dottor is the Deputy Director for the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. Primary responsibilities for this role include providing overall leadership and direction for resource management, facilities/environmental management, and program management functions. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Dottor served as Chief of Performance Improvement Service. She also previously served as Revenue Coordinator and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In her previous role as CFO, she developed and executed an annual budget of over $900 million, and secured funding for multiple projects, including two new large specialty outpatient clinics and a 208 operating bed tower. During her time as Revenue Coordinator and Assistant Chief of the Business Office/Finance, she led interdisciplinary teams in building processes and using technology to build a highly successful revenue program, increasing collections from $8 million to $72 million prior to the transition to the Consolidated Patient Account Center. Ms. Dottor earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in economics from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and a Masters in Health Administration from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Chad Adams, Associate Director (Lake City)

Chad Adams | 386-755-3016 Ext. 392000

Associate Director (Lake City)

Chad Adams is the Associate Director for the Lake City VA Medical Center. Mr. Adams is responsible for the Lake City VAMC operations and management support to the entire health system that provides care to over 140,000 Veterans a year. Mr. Adams received his Master of Science degree in Health Services Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University and has over 25 years working with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Adams is a graduate of the Health Care Leadership Development Program, Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program and Competency Development for Leaders of the 21st Century. He is a VHA certified mentor at the fellow level, a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and has earned the distinction of board certification in healthcare management as a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Josh Pridgen, Associate Director (Primary Care and Outpatient Clinics)

Josh Pridgen | 904-475-5886

Associate Director (Primary Care and Outpatient Clinics)

Josh Pridgen is the Associate Director for Primary Care and Outpatient Clinics for the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. Pridgen comes to the NF/SGVHS from the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, serving as Associate Director since January 2018. Pridgen has fulfilled many leadership roles to include Acting Director for VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Associate Director, Assistant Director and Chief of the Business Office for VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System. Pridgen has also previously worked at the Orlando VA Health Care System where he started his VA career in 2008 as part of the VHA Technical Career Field Program within the Chief Business Office. Pridgen earned a Bachelor of Science from Valdosta State University and a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida.

Ilona Schmalfuss, M.D., Chief of Staff

Ilona Schmalfuss, M.D. | 352-548-6000 Ext. 106018

Chief of Staff

Ilona M. Schmalfuss, M.D., is the Chief of Staff for the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, providing oversight for all healthcare services provided to Veteran patients in both hospitals and eleven outpatient clinics throughout northern Florida and southern Georgia. Dr. Schmalfuss is Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology. She is also a Professor of Neuroradiology with the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Tina L Prince, DNP, MBA/HCM, RN, NEA-BC, Associate Director of Patient Care Services

Tina L Prince, DNP, MBA/HCM, RN, NEA-BC | 352-548-6000 Ext. 106050

Associate Director of Patient Care Services

As Associate Director, Patient Care Services (ADPCS), Dr. Prince is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of the largest number of professional employees in North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System. With over 1,400 employees, nurses are responsible for a large portion of our health care delivery and contribute greatly to the quality of care that is provided. In addition to being direct patient care providers, nursing staff are involved in education, research, patient safety, and facility accreditation. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Prince served as ADPCS at the New Mexico VA Health Care System. She is an Army veteran and an experienced Nursing leader with 30 years of successful practice - 25+ of those years were devoted to serving our Nation's Heroes within the Veterans Health Administration. She was worked in a variety of clinical settings to include critical care, acute medical/surgical, cardiac specialty, telemetry, acute psychiatry, and community living centers. Dr. Prince is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University (ADN-1987), Western Carolina University (BSN-1996), University of Phoenix (MBA/HCM-2005), and University of Miami (DNP-2011).