Leadership Team - Charles George VA Medical Center - Asheville, NC
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Charles George VA Medical Center - Asheville, NC


Leadership Team

Stephanie Young, Medical Center Director

Stephanie Young | 828-298-7911 Ext. 5224

Medical Center Director

Stephanie Young has proudly served America’s Heroes for over 25 years in various positions in the Veterans Health Administration. She was appointed as Director of the Western North Carolina VA Health Care System and Charles George VA Medical Center on February 18, 2018. In this role, Ms. Young is responsible for providing exceptional health care to 48,000 Veterans that improves their health and well-being. Ms. Young ensures the delivery of quality, patient-centered care throughout the entire health care system, which is comprised of Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville and three community based outpatient clinics located in Franklin, Hickory and Rutherford County. She is also responsible for approximately 2,000 full-time employees and volunteers and manages an annual operating budget exceeding $360 million. Ms. Young previously served as Director of the VA Iliana Health Care System (VAIHCS) from February 2016 - February 2018 and as the facility’s Acting Director from January 2015 - February 2016. Prior to that, she served as the Associate Director for the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, Michigan from June 2010 - January 2015 and as their Facility Chief Information Officer from April 2007 to June 2010. Ms. Young received her Bachelor of Science - Information Technology degree from the University of Phoenix and has an Associate in Science degree from Delta Community College.

George B. Drexel IV , Associate Medical Center Director, MBA

George B. Drexel IV | 828-298-7911 Ext. 5212

Associate Medical Center Director, MBA

As Associate Medical Center Director, Mr. Drexel has direct oversight of 10 areas including: Fiscal, Logistics, Hospital Administration, Facility Management, Human Resources, Nutrition & Food, Police, Safety, Prosthetics, and Veterans Experience. He also has indirect oversight of OI&T and Veterans Canteen Service. Prior to being named Associate Director for the Charles George VA Medical Center, Mr. Drexel was the Executive Assistant to the Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network (VISN 6) Director and Deputy Network Director, at its headquarters in Durham, N.C. VISN 6 manages an integrated health-care network of seven medical centers, five large health care centers and 37 outpatient clinics with a $4.2 billion-dollar budget and 20,000 employees providing healthcare to 412,000 Veterans. As a member of the VISN 6 Executive Team, Mr. Drexel developed strategic plans and performance measures, and was responsible for implementing initiatives throughout the network. In 2019 and 2020, Mr. Drexel served as the Acting Associate Director at the Hines VA in Illinois and as the Assistant Medical Center Director for the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Prior to his appointment in VISN 6, he began his VA career serving as Strategic Planner for the Salisbury VA Health Care System in Salisbury, N.C. As the facility planner, Mr. Drexel led several teams of executives and service leaders in developing long and short-term strategic goals, objectives and metrics. He was responsible for completing on time and within budget two of VHA’s largest lease projects – the construction of health care centers in Kernersville and Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to joining VA, Mr. Drexel spent 15 years with Daimler of North America as a corporate trainer between 2005 and 2010, and a vehicle electronics technician from 1995 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps (1st Battalion 8th Marines, Second Marine Division) from October 1991 to 1995. Mr. Drexel earned a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Catawba College. He holds certifications in VA Space and Equipment Planning, VHA Lean Black Belt, and is a certified VHA Coach and Mentor and Lean Facilitator.

Paul Riggs, Chief of Staff

Paul Riggs | 828-298-7911 Ext. 5221

Chief of Staff

Paul R. Riggs, D.O., was appointed chief of staff for the Western North Carolina Healthcare System on March 3, 2019. Dr. Riggs received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, and completed his post-graduate training at Tulsa Regional Medical Center and JFK Memorial Hospital System. He is Board Certified in Family Practice. Dr. Riggs began his work at the VA on June 01, 2004 and has served as the Interim Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Chief Primary Care, Assistant Chief of Primary Care, and as the Director of CGVAMC Veterans Integrative Pain Management Program. In this key role, Dr. Riggs is responsible for providing administrative and clinical leadership to all clinical service lines at the Asheville VA Medical Center.

David Przestrzelski, M.S., R.N., Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

David Przestrzelski, M.S., R.N. | 828-298-7911 Ext. 5449

Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

David Przestrzelski, MS, RN, was appointed Associate Director, Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at the Charles George VA Medical Center on Oct. 1, 2006 after serving as Chief, Nursing Service/Nurse Executive since February of 2003. He is responsible for nursing and support staff within the Nursing Service and coordinates clinical service delivery with the Chief of Staff in this complexity level 1C facility. Prior to this assignment, he served 10 years at the VA Medical Center in Tucson as chief nurse executive and director of nursing education. He founded the Tucson Nurses Week Foundation, and helped lead the expansion of a VA city-wide internship program. He has a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania College of Nursing (1975). After private sector clinical experience, he served as a lieutenant in the US Navy Nurse Corps (1977-1980) at the Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD; and Naval Hospital, Charleston, SC. After military service, he began his VA career as a critical care nurse at the North Chicago VA Medical Center. After completing his master of science degree in Nursing Administration at the University of Illinois College of Nursing in 1984, he served as nurse manager and associate chief, Nursing Service, in the 1,200-bed Edward J. Hines VA Hospital in Chicago. In 1988, he was appointed Senior Associate Chief Nurse at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center where he was clinical champion in design of a $94 million clinical addition. In 1992, he was appointed chief nurse executive at the Tucson VA Medical Center. He transferred to the Nurse Executive role at the Charles George VA Medical Center in 2003. He is a graduate of the VA Health Care Leadership Institute and the Federal Executive Institute. He is the Nurse Executive Liaison for sterile processing and reusable medical equipment issues at the national level, a national leader in nurse staffing methodology and chairs the VISN 6 Pain Committee.