13 years has flown by for Al Perry, the director on the VA Central California Healthcare System. In 1998 this 1950's circa hospital desperately needed leadership and money. After decades of neglect the veteran's administration sent both.
Veterans of all ages now routinely utilize the benefits it now offers... a modern hospital from top to bottom.
We've virtually renovated ever square inch of patient car, the wards, the clinics the operating rooms.
The staff of 1-thousand is supported by as many volunteers... and they love working for Perry. Like this Iraq/Afghanistan veteran, whose volunteer team insures that patients' needs are met as they arrive. "I have this team we survey the parking lot and make sure people get help when they need it," Chad Kingus said.
Some 35,000 Valley veterans are eligible for services here. Three-thousand vet's from the current war are enrolled. Perry credits his staff for the care veterans receive. His employees will tell you that's because he walks the walk he talks. "Some people are wired to take their energy from people. I guess I'm like that. I thrive being around really talented people and getting good things done."
What's next? Time with family... and shrinking his bucket list of mountains to climb.