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Bath VA Medical Center


Leadership Team

Portrait of Michael J. Swartz

Michael J. Swartz | 607-664-4722

Medical Center Director

Michael Swartz, FACHE, has been appointed as the Medical Center Director for the Bath VA Medical Center effective March 25, 2012.

Prior to his appointment as Director for the Bath VA Mr. Swartz was the Associate Medical Center Director at the Syracuse VA since July 2004.
As the Associate Director he was responsible for the day-to-day management of Syracuse VA operations, resource management and working collaboratively with staff to improve overall quality, veteran satisfaction and access. In addition to his duties as Associate Director he also served as VISN 2 Diagnostics & Therapeutics Care Line Program Manager for ten years.

Michael Swartz earned the degree of Masters in Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Health Care Management from State University of New York at Brockport in January 1991. He had previously earned his Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration from Ithaca College in May 1985. Mr. Swartz is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Michael Swartz began his VA career in 1984 as an administrative intern at VA Medical Center Batavia. In 1990, Mr. Swartz moved to Syracuse VA Medical Center as the Administrative Assistant to the Director; in 1995, Mr. Swartz transferred to Buffalo VA Medical Center as Manager, Integrated Health Systems; in 1996, Mr. Swartz was appointed Clinic Manager, Rochester VA Outpatient Clinic, overseeing the final construction and activation of the new clinic, as well as managing clinic resources and day-to-day operations of the clinic; in 1998, Mr. Swartz joined VA Health Care Upstate New York (VISN 2) staff when he was appointed VISN 2 Chief Operating Officer for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Care Line; in 1999, Mr. Swartz was promoted to Director, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Care Line and served as the Network Care Line Director from 1999 – 2009.

Portrait of Kenneth P. Piazza, MHSA, CPHQ

Kenneth P. Piazza, MHSA, CPHQ | 607-664-4722

Associate Director

Ken Piazza was selected as Associate Medical Center Director for the Bath VA Medical Center in June, 2013. Prior to his appointment at Bath, Mr. Piazza was the Manager of Geriatric and Extended Care Services at the Syracuse VA. Mr. Piazza has received recognition from CMS and the Administration on Aging for Partnership with New York State government and several county governments. He has served as a national VHA consultant for quality and organizational system improvement and has been a VA quality award examiner. Mr. Piazza graduated from the VA’s national System Redesign Coach's College in 2007. He was a Systems Redesign leader and taught the basics of systems improvement to hundreds of VA employees across Upstate New York. Mr. Piazza also has extensive experience in customer service programming and was a principal member of the team that designed, implemented and operated a national customer service program for VHA.

Mr. Piazza graduated from George Washington University with a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration and minor in Long Term Care Management. He is a graduate of the VHA Clinical Leadership Institute (1997), Interagency Institute for Federal Health Care Executives (2001), and Leadership VA in 2006 (also nominated by his peers to be a Leadership VA Co-Leader in 2007). He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).

Mr. Piazza began his VA career at the Bath VA in the early 1980s serving as the Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Quality Manager and Patient Advocate. In 2006 and 2007,
Mr. Piazza returned again part-time to manage the medical center’s resources as a loaned executive. During that period he was asked to manage the medical center’s acute inpatient care and outpatient operations, serving as interim lead while a search was conducted for permanent leadership.

Portrait of Susan Herson

Susan Herson | (607) 664-4770

Chief of Staff

Dr. Susan Herson was selected as the Chief of Staff for the Bath VA Medical Center in March 2017. Dr. Herson has worked as a Hospitalist at the Sioux Falls VA, a Hospitalist-Clinician Educator and Clinical Assistant Professor for New York Medical College, and a Medical Director at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut leading Performance Improvement, Utilization Management, and Clinical Informatics efforts.

Dr. Herson served in the United States Navy, trained at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, and was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune as a General Medical Officer. She has also volunteered on several global health missions to Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Vietnam, and the Commonwealth of Saipan. She continues to volunteer locally for the uninsured.

She holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.D. from the New York Medical College. She completed her Internal Medicine residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and completed a Tropical Medicine Certificate Program through the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda.

Portrait of Michelle Santos Martinez, RN, MSN, MHA

Michelle Santos Martinez, RN, MSN, MHA | 607-664-4515

Nurse Executive

Michelle Santos Martinez, RN, MSN, MHA is currently serving as the Associate Director for Patient and Nursing Services at the Bath VA Medical Center. In 1991, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree through Alfred University. She began her nursing career at the University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital in 1991, working with a variety of adult medical and surgical specialties including Plastics, Burn-Trauma, Transplant, and Neurosurgery. She ascended to a Nurse Manager position before leaving Strong Memorial Hospital in 2003 to join the Bath VA Medical Center. Ms. Santos Martinez began her VA career in Bath as a Nurse Manager for Acute Medicine, Intensive Care, and the Emergency and Respiratory Departments. In 2008, she became the Associate Chief Nurse for the Medicine Service. From July to September 2013, she served as the Acting Medical VA Care Line and Diagnostics/Therapeutics Care Line Manager. From January to June of 2014, she served as Acting Associate Director of Patient Nursing Services.

Ms. Santos Martinez has a Master of Science Degree in Nursing and a Master in Health Care Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She has received numerous awards including the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing in 2008. In 2012, she completed the Federal Executive Institute Leadership Program.