Leadership Team - Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC
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Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VAMC

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Leadership Team

Karen Flaherty-Oxler, MSN, RN, Director

Karen Flaherty-Oxler, MSN, RN | 215-823-5857


Karen Flaherty-Oxler, MSN, RN, is the Medical Center Director of the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center. She is a retired rear admiral of the United States Navy and served as the senior vice president, chief nurse, and patient experience executive of the Atlantic Health System in Morristown, New Jersey, from 2016 through 2018. Prior to taking on that role, she spent several years in various progressive positions at the Lancaster General Health System in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ms. Flaherty-Oxler spent more than two years as the deputy surgeon general and deputy chief for the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in the United States Navy. Prior to that role she also served as the associate director for patient and nursing services at the Crescenz VAMC for approximately six years. She received a master’s degree in nursing administration and a certificate of administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Patricia O'Kane, MSS, Associate Director for Finance and Operations

Patricia O'Kane, MSS | 215-823-5858

Associate Director for Finance and Operations

Patricia O’Kane, MSS, is the Associate Director for Finance and Operations and prior to that the Associate Director of Clinical Operations at the Corporal Michael Crescenz VA Medical Center. She has been part of the leadership team for over eight years. During this time, Ms. O’Kane served as Interim Medical Center Director of VA Butler and provided leadership through their management transition. She also served in interim positions as the Associate Director for Finance and the Associate Director for Clinical Operations. Ms. O’Kane began her VA career in Philadelphia in 1989 as a Social Worker and has held progressive leadership positions in Social Work and Behavioral Health Services, where she served as the Chief of Social Work Service and as Clinical Coordinator of the Behavioral Health Clinic. Her experience in Social Work includes both mental health and medical/surgical practice. Ms. O’Kane holds a Master’s Degree in Social Service from Bryn Mawr College and is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).

Bob Askey, MBA, AAS CA, Acting Associate Director for Support Services

Bob Askey, MBA, AAS CA | 215-823-5856

Acting Associate Director for Support Services

Robert W. Askey, MBA, AAS CA, is the Acting Associate Director of the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center (CMCVAMC). A retired colonel of the United States Army, he served in a variety of transportation and logistics assignments both stateside and overseas, to include a tour on the Army General Staff. Mr. Askey began his career with the VA in 2014 when he joined the Voluntary Service Team in support of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, hosted that year by the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. His next assignment with the CMCVAMC was on the Logistics Service leadership team. Mr. Askey then relocated to North Carolina to serve as the Assistant Chief of Logistics at the Durham VA Healthcare System. In 2017, he returned to the CMCVAMC as the Chief Supply Chain Officer. Mr. Askey earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Florida Institute of Technology, and his Culinary Degree from the Culinary Institute of Virginia.

John J. Kelly, M.D., Chief of Staff

John J. Kelly, M.D. | 215-823-5859

Chief of Staff

Dr. John J. Kelly, MD, is board certified in both Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine. He joined the Crescenz VAMC as Chief of Staff in July 2017, after having served as Chief of Staff at Abington- Jefferson Health. He joined the medical staff at Abington in 1983 as a consultant in the Infectious Diseases Division, and in 1985, was named associate director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and became its Director in 1990. He was also appointed Chair of the Department of Medicine. He has a strong interest and background in the science and practice of patient safety. In 2001, he was responsible for developing the first patient safety initiatives at Abington Hospital in response to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “100,000 Lives” report. That year he also assumed the title of Chief Patient Safety Officer. Dr. Kelly became Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer in 2004. Dr. Kelly has also served as principal investigator for numerous research trials. He is an invited lecturer on patient safety topics to both local and national audiences. He is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine and received his MBA in Management and Health Care Administration from LaSalle University. Dr. Kelly is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the American Society of Internal Medicine, the American Society of Microbiology, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the Association of Program Directors of Internal Medicine.

Coy L. Smith, ND, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE, Associate Director, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer

Coy L. Smith, ND, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE | 215-823-5896

Associate Director, Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Officer

Dr. Coy Smith comes to the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center with over 35 years of nursing experience, including 30 years of Nursing and Patient Care Services leadership positions. For the past 19 years, Dr. Smith has held VP level positions in Patient Care Services and as the Chief Nursing Officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Allegheny College in Psychology and a Clinical Doctorate (ND) and MSN from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. He is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives and is certified as a Nurse Executive, Advanced and a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. He serves actively in his Parish St. Luke’s and the Epiphany. He participates in several nursing organizations and the Healthcare Leadership Network of Delaware Valley.