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.

Cynthia K. Wallace, Chief of Staff

Cynthia K. Wallace | 559-225-6100

Chief of Staff

Dr. Cynthia K. Wallace is the Chief of Staff for VA Central California Health Care System. She joined the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN 21) as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in May 2018. She is motivated by a strong commitment to the mission of the VHA. Her chief duties as VISN CMO include overseeing clinical programs and operations at seven major health care systems in Northern California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific. VISN 21 has an overall operating budget of $3.9 billion, with over 14,300 employees, and 66 sites of care. Wallace obtained a Bachelor of History from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, in 1990. She went on to earn a Master of Science in in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1999, and a Doctor of Medicine from Baylor Collet of Medicine, in Houston Texas, in 2005. She also attended the Salem Physician Leadership Institute, Salem Hospital, in Salem Oregon. Wallace completed a Masters in Business Administration with emphasis on Healthcare Management from Oregon health Sciences University, at Portland State University.

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.