LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director James Robert Redford announced Monday that Laurie McCullough-Benner has been hired as chief executive officer of the Michigan Veteran Health System, which oversees the state’s two veterans homes in Grand Rapids and Marquette. Brad Slagle, who has been serving in the role since November 2016, is retiring.
“We are delighted to welcome Laurie to our team and her continuing to lead the MVHS into a new era,” said Redford. “Laurie has a distinguished career spanning more than three decades working in long-term health care facilities, including success leading and managing teams throughout the Great Lakes region. She brings a fresh perspective to team veteran, and her experience and strategic thinking will assist us materially as we work to modernize the provision of health care services for Michigan’s veterans.”
McCullough-Benner, of Jackson, is an experienced health care facility operator with demonstrated strength in providing excellent care, strategic planning, achieving financial outcomes, fostering positive working environments and engaging diverse workforces. She has had a lifelong interest in health care, and has served in her community from an early age. She began her professional career in health care in 1987 after earning a degree from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. She obtained her first nursing home administrator license in 1989.
“I am honored to have been chosen for this role, and am excited to work with the dedicated professionals at MVHS and in our veterans homes to guide the future of health care for Michigan’s veterans,” McCullough-Benner said. “Together we will work hard to provide great care, design care systems and establish environments that will meet the needs and exceed the expectations of our home’s members and their families for years to come. I look forward to us being the health care provider and employer of choice in the communities in which we serve.”
In her career, McCullough-Benner has managed and operated multi-facility organizations, and served as an administrator of both small and large sized long term care facilities. She comes to the MVHS after having served most recently as the district director of operations for Sava Senior Care, where she oversaw 10 care centers in southeast Michigan. McCullough-Benner is also an entrepreneur, having previously owned and operated her own book store and coffee shop in Allegan.
Outgoing CEO Brad Slagle will serve as special adviser to Redford until his planned retirement on March 31. Slagle previously served as business manager and deputy administrator of the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans from 1999 to 2005, before becoming the administrator in 2005. He has been a licensed nursing home administrator since 2001, and is the past president of the National Association of State Veteran Homes.
“Brad Slagle has been an invaluable leader and teammate at MVAA,” said Redford. “All of us are so fortunate to have had Brad on our team, and his knowledge and experience will be greatly missed. While bittersweet, his pending retirement is well-deserved, and we wish him and his family nothing but health and happiness in the future.”
Established in 2015, MVHS is an integrated health care system providing quality residential, long-term health care to veterans of all eras through Michigan’s state-run veterans homes.