Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center Ward 4B South Team receives Outstanding Service Award

6 mins read
Larry Dandridge

The first three articles of this series of six articles on Veterans and Veterans Benefits covered Individual Unemployability, Eight Ways to Help Lowcountry Veterans, and the VA’s Social Services Program.

This article honors the Wing 4B South Nursing Team at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (RHJVAMC) for outstanding service and offers reassurance that Veterans who are inpatients in the RHJVAMC will get world-class care.

Almost everyone in the Lowcountry of S.C. knows the RHJVAMC serves Beaufort County and 20 other coastal S.C. and Ga., counties. All of us veterans hope to not have to be a hospital inpatient, but with all of us living longer, the likely hood of us needing inpatient medical care in the future is high. The excellent care provided by the Nursing Team in the 4B-South Wing should be reassuring to veterans, veterans’ families, and veterans’ caregivers.

The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Coastal S.C. Chapter awarded its Quarterly Outstanding Team Service Award, to the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center’s 4B South Nursing Team, on Friday, July 16. Coastal S.C. AUSA Chapter Vice President for Veteran and Retiree Affairs, Larry Dandridge, presented the beautiful engraved plaque and award to the Ralph Johnson Ward 4B South Nursing Team. This event and award are strong evidence that Veterans are fortunate to have the RHJVAMC as our area VA Medical Center.

The 4B South Team of Nurses and their outgoing Nurse Manager Davina Dietrich, who is taking another job in another VA Center, and the incoming Nurse Manager Christine Manigault have been instrumental in the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health System achieving a Press Ganey Survey (the gold-standard measurement of hospitals) inpatient experience rating in the top 3 percent. That means the Ralph Johnson 4B South Team is in the 97th percentile of more than 340 other Press Ganey clients (private and public hospitals) that are rated and measured in the southeast.

Among the 21 LowCountry S.C. and Ga. counties served by the Ralph Johnson VA Medical Center, the Beaufort and Savannah, Ga., Community Based Out Patient Clinics (CBOCs) are in the primary footprint of The Island News. Veterans in the areas of Beaufort, Port Royal, Hilton Head, Bluffton, Ridgeland, Hardeeville, Fripp Island, and other nearby S.C. areas and Savannah, Port Wentworth, Garden City, Pooler, Tybee Island, Richmond Hill, Midway, Hinesville, and other nearby Ga., areas get their outpatient care from these two CBOCs but they can expect to get VA inpatient care at the RHJVAMC in Charleston.

Adopted in 2004 by the Coastal S.C. AUSA Chapter and many other patriotic organizations, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center (RHJVAMC) is located at 109 Bee Street, Charleston S.C. 29401. If a Beaufort County; Savannah, Ga.; or Hinesville, Ga., veteran needs in-patient care, it is likely he or she will be housed in the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center’s 4B South facility and the Veteran’s family may, if eligible, get to use the RHJVAMC’s beautiful Fisher House Charleston free lodging.

The Letter of Commendation and Award Plaque read:

The Association of U.S. Army Coastal SC Chapter recognizes the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center’s 4B South Team for outstanding quality services and patient experience. The 4B South Nurse and Physician leadership, staff and student nurses, staff and resident physicians, housekeeping, nutrition, lab, radiology, and therapy staff are not only among the best rated in VA, but the entire health care industry.

The Coastal S.C. AUSA Chapter, with Sub-Chapters in Beaufort and Myrtle Beach, has won the AUSA Best Chapter Award for the past two years, in its category, and has an excellent Veterans support program.

Larry Dandridge is a Vietnam War era wounded warrior, a combat and 100 percent disabled veteran, an ex-Enlisted Infantryman, an Ex-Warrant Officer Attack Helicopter Pilot and Test-pilot, and a retired Lt. Colonel. He is a past Veterans Service Officer, and a current volunteer Patient Adviser, CEO Advisory Council Member, and Patient and Family Advisory Committee Member at the RHJ VA Health Care System. He is also the Fisher House Charleston volunteer Good Will Ambassador and the VP for Veteran and Retiree Affairs for the Coastal Carolina Army Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) Chapter. Larry is the author of the award-winning, non-fiction, and action-packed BLADES OF THUNDER (Book One) and contributing free-lance writer with the Island News, you can email him at: LDandridge@earthlink.net.

Above: Coastal S.C. Chapter’s LTC (Retired) Larry Dandridge presents the award to the 4B South Nurse Team. Outgoing Nurse Manager Davina Dietrich is at the far right, and incoming Nurse Manager Christine Manigault is standing in the front row middle, to the left of Dandridge. The AUSA’s Coastal S.C. Chapter also awarded an Individual Award to Dietrich.

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