It's a homecoming of sorts for the interim director of the local VA medical center.
Andrew “Andy” M. Welch, currently director of the Amarillo VA Health Care System, is pulling double duty of sorts for the next few months — he has been named interim director of the West Texas VA Health Care System based in Big Spring, but will continue serving in Amarillo as well.
In Big Spring, Welch succeeds Daniel Marsh, who resigned in late May to become director of the VA medical center in Oklahoma City.
Welch assumed his interim duties here June 2.
He was born in Mississippi, but grew up and graduated from high school in Midland, so he is very familiar with Big Spring.
“It's a bit of a homecoming for me,” he said. “I either passed through Big Spring or stopped here many times. Big Spring is a place I'm very familiar with and it has a lot to offer. It's a good place to be.”
He began his VA career in 1987 as a dietitian at the Audie L. Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio. In 1990, he moved to the Kerrville VA Medical Center as an administrative dietitian and, in 1993, was promoted to chief of the center's nutrition and food service.
He subsequently served in administrative posts for the Austin, San Antonio and Gulf Coast VA Health Care Systems before assuming the director duties in Amarillo in May 2008.
Welch said it is unclear how long he will serve as interim director in Big Spring, but is prepared to be here for several months.
“The position is being advertised and they're currently gathering applications,” he said. “I'll probably be here at least over the summer.”