Associate director appointed to Van Zandt

Having received a permanent director in September after a year an a half without one, the Van Zandt VA Medical Center now has an associate director.

He’s Derek Coughenour, who came to Altoona recently from the VA in Pittsburgh, where he was director of rehabilitation services.

Before that, he was acting associate director of the Clarksburg VA Medical Center.

He began his VA career as a resident in physical therapy, became a staff physical therapist, has been a coordinator for a program designed to prevent the need for amputations, a coordinator for clinical education and a manager for clinical education in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Immediately before his appointment, he was interim executive assistant to Van Zandt Director Sigrid Andrew.

In his new role, Coughenour will be responsible for operations at Van Zandt and its five community-based outpatient clinics. Together, the hospital and clinics have 780 employees and an annual budget of $139 million. The system serves 26,500 veterans.