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, was appointed acting director of VA Central California HCS (VACCHCS). Benninger was formerly the Associate Director of Patient Care Services and Nurse Executive for the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System. His responsibilities at VACCHCS include inpatient facilities, four outpatient clinics, a research and development program, and a commitment to education with several academic affiliations, over 1,500 employees, and an operating budget of more than $250M. Originally from northeast Pennsylvania, Benninger completed an Associate of Arts Degree at Pennsylvania State University, and enlisted as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy shortly after. He completed Hospital Corps and Aerospace Medicine training and reported for duty at Branch Clinic, Millington, Tennessee. Fulfilling his enlistment in 1978, he entered The University of Memphis Nursing Program where he received an Associate of Science in Nursing a year later. Benninger went on to complete 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. He concurrently served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve from 1978 to 1981 at which time he accepted a reserve commission in the Army Nurse Corps. Chuck held staff nursing positions as well as a university faculty position while completing his education. Benninger was commissioned to the Navy in 1984. Benninger graduated from Baylor University in 1993 with a Bachelor’s in Healthcare and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration. He has 25 years active duty and retired as a Commander in 2004. He joined the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2006. Benninger’s service career and experience in health administration make him an ideal fit for the VA CCHCS. He has demonstrated deep commitment to caring for the nation’s Veterans.

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.

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.

Gia L Davis, Patient Advocate

Gia L Davis | 559-228-6970

Patient Advocate