Leadership Team - VA Central California Health Care System
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VA Central California Health Care System


Leadership Team

Charles Benninger, Medical Center Director, VA Central CA Health Care System

Charles Benninger | 559-225-6100 Ext. 5400

Medical Center Director, VA Central CA Health Care System

Charles (Chuck) O. Benninger, CFAAMA, RN, MN, MHA, assumed the role of Medical Center Director at VA Central California Health Care System (HCS), in August of 2019. He previously served as Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at the VA Sierra Nevada HCS. Benninger completed an Associate of Arts Degree at Pennsylvania State University and enlisted as a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy. He completed Hospital Corps and Aerospace Medicine training. In 1978, he entered The University of Memphis Nursing Program and earned an Associate of Science in Nursing. Benninger also completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama in 1981 followed by a Master's Degree in Nursing from the University of South Carolina in 1983, while also serving in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve from 1978 to 1981. During this time, he also accepted a reserve commission in the Army Nurse Corps. Benninger held staff nursing positions and a university faculty position while completing his education. He was commissioned to the Navy in 1984. Benninger graduated Baylor University in 1993 with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. After 25 years he retired as a Commander in 2004 and joined VA in 2006.

Demitric Franklin, Associate Director, VA Central CA Health Care System

Demitric Franklin | 559-225-6100 Ext. 5337

Associate Director, VA Central CA Health Care System

Demitric Franklin was named Associate Director at the VA Central California Health Care System (VACCHCS) in May 2016. Mr. Franklin’s management philosophy focuses on bringing dignity, knowledge, and personal empowerment to every individual. He feels personally responsible for the long-term security of those he serves within VHA. He is also proud to have mentored many to advance their careers into roles of increasing responsibility. It’s through these principles that Mr. Franklin has been successful in pioneering many process changes, throughout various organizations, resulting in improved quality of care, cultural transformation and improved work environments. Mr. Franklin’s previous positions include Health Systems Specialist for the VA Sierra Pacific Network, with responsibilities in clinical analytics, informatics and sensory aids. He also served as the Network leader of Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service, as well as, Health Systems Specialist at the North Chicago VA Medical Center. Mr. Franklin earned his Master’s in Health Administration from Saint Louis University and has many years’ experience managing multiple teams and projects. He has extensive expertise with health care operations that have resulted in the enhancement of management, performance, and an improved workplace.

Syndi Day, Assistant Director

Syndi Day | 559-225-6100

Assistant Director

Syndi Day was appointed Assistant Director of VA Central California Health Care System (VACCHCS) in March 2020. Ms. Day’s federal career spans more than 35 years, beginning in 1984 at Naval Air Station Lemoore working in the Comptroller Department. Ms. Day began her career at VACCHCS in June 1987, as a secretary in Fiscal Service. Over the years, Ms. Day has held many business and revenue-related positions, including Chief of Medical Care Cost Recovery and Community Care, Compliance Officer, and, most recently, Chief of Business Administration. Ms. Day has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Throughout her employment at VACCHCS, Ms. Day’s focus has been continuing process improvement, concentrating on stewardship by improving business and clinical operations, efficiencies, and effectiveness. Ms. Day’s accomplishments include serving on a national revenue reengineering team and serving and leading teams focused on redesigning revenue and compliance operations in the Veterans Healthcare Administration, at the local and regional level. Ms. Day believes VHA’s workforce is its most valuable32 asset and giving staff the tools and training needed ensures their success in fulfilling VACCHCS’ mission of providing excellent care for Veterans in a clean and safe environment.

Nasreen Bukhari, Acting Chief of Staff

Nasreen Bukhari | 559-225-6100

Acting Chief of Staff

Dr. Nasreen Bukhari is currently serving as Acting Chief of Staff at VA Central California Health Care System. She has held the role of Deputy Chief of Staff at VACCAHCS since October of 2017 and is board-certified in internal Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Bukhari has also completed the Excellence in Government Fellows program and is a Clinical Associate Professor (Voluntary Faculty) at UCSF Fresno Campus, and has held leadership positions at the VA for over 22 years. She has worked at VA medical centers in Oklahoma City and Muskogee, Oklahoma where she served as the Chief of Medicine, Deputy Chief of Staff and acting COS before she transferred to VA Central California HCS. Dr. Bukhari studied medicine at the University of Jammu and Kashmir and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, OK. She brings a wealth of experience and continues to be a major asset to the VACCHCS leadership team.

Michael R Bethel, Associate Director of Patient Care Services, Chief Nurse Executive

Michael R Bethel | 559-225-6100

Associate Director of Patient Care Services, Chief Nurse Executive

Michael (Mike) Bethel serves as the Acting Nurse Executive for VA Central California Health Care System. He is also the Chief of Primary Care Nursing where his primary duties include providing overall management, leadership and direction for the Primary Care Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model, known within the VA as PACT (Patient Aligned Care Teams). He has served in this role at VA CCHCS since 2008. A Central Valley local, Bethel has a unique understanding of the solidarity the Veteran Community offers. He is originally from Dinuba, California. He graduated from Dinuba High School and immediately began his studies in nursing at College of the Sequoias, in Visalia California, where he completed an Associate of Science in Registered Nursing, in 1994. Mike also attended University of California Santa Cruz. He transferred to California State University, Dominguez Hills, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, in 2001. Mike also completed a Master of Science, Nursing and Health Care Systems Management from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mike has held several staff nursing positions, in the Valley and brings with him years of experience and expertise.