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Overton Brooks VA Medical Center

Associate Director for Patient Care Services

  Portrait of Sandy Leake, MSN, RN

Sandy Leake, MSN, RN

Interim Associate Director for Patient Care Services
Overton Brooks VA Medical Center

Ms. Leake will serve as the Interim Associate Director for Patient Care Services (ADPCS) from October 14-24, 2014. Ms. Leake has officially held the position of Associate Director for Nursing/Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) since 1998. During her tenure, she has served in a variety of other capacities including Associate Director and Interim Medical Center Director on numerous occasions. In 2008, at the request of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Chief Nursing Officer, she served a 4 month detail as the Director of Workforce in the VHA Office of Nursing Services in Washington, DC. In her current position, Ms. Leake is ultimately responsible for nursing practice, care and standards throughout the Atlanta VAMC and its fourteen off-site locations. The facility is one of the fastest growing across VHA with over 94,000 unique veterans seen in 2014, an annual operating budget of $684M, and over 3900 full-time equivalent employees. Her other direct organizational responsibilities include Social Work, Nutrition and Food Services, Clinical Dietetics, Chaplain Services, Voluntary Services, Sterile Processing Services, and Utilization Management. As a member of the hospital’s executive team, Ms. Leake exerts a substantial influence over the organization’s operations, tactical and strategic planning and goals, and shares accountability and responsibility for organizational success and high quality clinical and administrative outcomes with colleagues on the executive team.

Ms. Leake possesses 30 years of diversified nursing experience characterized by increasingly responsible positions and proven outcomes in executive leadership and management, coaching and mentoring, and workforce development across VHA. She is a frequently requested speaker at local, regional and national conferences. Additionally, as one of the most tenured nursing executives in VHA, she is often asked to provide consultative guidance to executives, national program offices, and health care systems across VHA and beyond. Her accomplishments are many, and include leading her organization’s efforts to achieve Magnet® designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2009. The facility is currently pending re-designation.

Ms. Leake received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Memphis in 1987 and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration from Vanderbilt University in 1989. She has held both private sector clinical staff and academic positions, and her clinical focus has been in critical care. A VA Health Professional Scholarship recipient, she joined the VA in Gainesville, Florida in 1989 to fulfill a two year service obligation. Three years later, her commitment to and passion for the VA mission firmly established, she made the decision that caring for veterans was to be her professional life’s work. She transferred to the Atlanta VAMC as a critical care clinical nurse specialist, moved into a nurse manager position, was asked to temporarily fulfill the Acting Chief Nurse Executive role in 1995, and she has been a member of the hospital’s executive team since that time.

Ms. Leake completed the Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives at George Washington University in 1998; was a 2001 graduate of Leadership VA; attended the Federal Executive Institute in 2002; and the VA Health Care Leadership Institute in 2003. She was awarded a 2007 Johnson and Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship at the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, and has been named “Best Nurse Leader” by ADVANCE for Nurses magazine.

Ms. Leake completed the Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives at George Washington University in 1998; was a 2001 graduate of Leadership VA; attended the Federal Executive Institute in 2002; and the VA Health Care Leadership Institute in 2003. She was awarded a 2007 Johnson and Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship at the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, and has been named “Best Nurse Leader” by ADVANCE for Nurses magazine.

Ms. Leake is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs, the American Nurses’ Association, Georgia Nurses’ Association and Sigma Theta Tau. She maintains strong and productive affiliate partnerships with numerous schools of Nursing, including the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University where she holds an adjunct faculty position. A recent notable outcome of this partnership is the VA Nursing Academy Partnership, a competitive award of a $4.5M grant over 5 years to increase the number of faculty positions and nursing school graduates who are prepared through a veteran-centric education. Ms. Leake has also supported the Atlanta VA affiliation with the Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) and is on the WCSI Board of Directors. She is also an active supporter of the March of Dimes, and will chair the 2014 Nurse of the Year selection process.