Leadership Team - VA Northern Indiana Health Care System
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VA Northern Indiana Health Care System


Leadership Team

Michael E. Hershman, MHA, FACHE, Director

Michael E. Hershman, MHA, FACHE | 260-460-1310


Mr. Mike Hershman, a retired United States Army Colonel, oversees delivery of health care to more than 45,000 unique Veterans annually and an operating budget of over $274 million since Sept. 8, 2016. With over 1400 staff, VANIHCS is a two-division campus located in Fort Wayne, Ind. and Marion, Ind. serving over 29 counties in Indiana with four community based outpatient clinics (CBOC) located in South Bend, Ind; Goshen, Ind; Muncie, Ind; Peru, Ind. Hershman was the Deputy Director, Primary Care Service Line, United States Army Medical Command, San Antonio, Texas where he served as the Medical Command’s subject matter expert on medical home and primary care empanelment. While serving in this role, Hershman was responsible for the transformation of Army Medicine from a healthcare system to a system of health through full implementation of a patient centered medical home (Army Medical Home). He provided strategic level oversight of all primary and emergency care in the Army Medical Command valued at over $600 million in annual revenue. In addition, Hershman coordinated with subordinate organizations which include 4 regional health commands, and 32 hospitals and health clinics. Hershman’s accomplishments as the Deputy Director include managing and providing oversight of primary care empanelment, capacity, and provider productivity for the Medical Command’s 1,900 primary care managers. Furthermore, he worked with the staff of the Medical Command’s Chief Financial Officer on setting and monitoring incentives for primary care throughout the Medical Command. His previous experiences include Chief Executive Officer, McDonald Army Health Center, Fort Eustis, VA, Chief Operating Officer, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, Texas, and Chief Executive Officer, 187th Medical Battalion, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. While serving in these roles, Hershman was responsible for developing a plan that increased outpatient productivity by 30 percent over 2 years, turning a $2 million budget shortfall into a $10 million budget surplus in 18 months, and facilitating the expansion of a Medical Command organization in support of an Army Installation expansion. He received a Master of Science in Strategic Studies, from U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., a Master in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University, Waco, Texas, and a Bachelor of Administration in Government from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.

Grace L. Stringfellow, MD, Chief of Staff

Grace L. Stringfellow, MD | 260-426-5431 Ext. 71503

Chief of Staff

Dr. Grace Stringfellow joined VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System on August 2, 2020. Dr. Stringfellow is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Prior to that she was the Chief of Staff at the VA Western New York Healthcare System as Chief of Staff since 2016. She also served as the Chief of Staff for the Nebraska Western Iowa VA Medical Center for two years and served as the Chief of Staff for the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center for two years and the Chief of Staff at the Amarillo VA Health Care System for four years. She received her M.D. from the University of Texas health Science Center in Houston Texas, and completed her Residency in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Stringfellow is a member of the VHA National Chief of Staff Committee. She is a fellow with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has also published on various topics including Dermatomal Somatosensory evoked Potentials and the Prognostic and Diagnostic Implications of Somatosensory Evoked Potentials in the Traumatically Brain Injured Population

Audrey L. Frison, DM, MHA, BSN, RN, VHA-, Associate Director, Patient Care Services

Audrey L. Frison, DM, MHA, BSN, RN, VHA- | 260-426-5431 Ext. 71413

Associate Director, Patient Care Services

Dr. ​Audrey L. Frison was appointed as Nurse Executive at VA Northern Indiana Health Care System, in October 1996. She is responsible for the nursing practice of the healthcare system. She provides supervision of Education, Nursing, Sterilization and Processing, Customer Service, and Chaplain Services; and Home Based Care, TeleHealth, Occupational Health, Women Veterans, Non-VA Care and Infection Control Programs. Dr. Frison is a native of Kentucky and received her BSN in Nursing in May 1976, from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Ky. She received her Master’s in Hospital Administration in December 1983 from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Frison completed her Doctorate of Organizational Management in December 2014 from the University of Phoenix. Her civil service career began in 1980 as a Hospital Resident, then Health Systems Specialist trainee. From January through August 1988, she served as Director of Marketing at the Marion VA Medical Center. Before being appointed as Nurse Executive/Associate Director Patient Care Services, she served as Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff and the Director (1988-1996). She also served as Director of Quality Management during this period. Prior positions include Director of Quality Management, VAMC Dayton, Ohio, Director of Marketing, VAMC Marion, Ind., and Administrative Assistant, Chief of Staff/Director, VAMC Fort Wayne, Ind. She is a graduate of Leadership VA, Federal Executive Institute, Leadership Development Institute, the VA Health Care Leadership Institute, and the Executive Career Field Training Program. She is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. Dr. Frison continues to be an active leader in community activities and organizations.

Anthony Colon, FACHE, Associate Director

Anthony Colon, FACHE | 765-674-3321 Ext. 73630

Associate Director

Prior to his appointment at Northern Indiana VA Healthcare System, Mr. Anthony Colón served as Chief, Prosthetics and Sensory Aids at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. During his tenure in Ann Arbor he was detailed to the Assistant Director VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and Chief, Prosthetics and Sensory Aids at the Battle Creek VA Medical Center. Mr. Colón has served in progressively higher leadership roles with VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Veterans Integrated Service Network 11 and Richard L. Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center. Prior to joining the VA Mr. Colón served as the Superintendent, 181st Medical Group, Terre Haute, Indiana. He deployed to Southwest Asia as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as part of Operation Sea Signal. He retired as a Chief Master Sergeant after 23 years of service. Mr. Colón earned a BS in Management and MS in Management- Healthcare from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. He is a graduate of the VISN 11 Leadership Development Program and the Health Care Leadership Development Program. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE).

Steve Sheets, LCSW, Assistant Director

Steve Sheets, LCSW | 765-674-3321 Ext. 73944/72630

Assistant Director

Steve Sheets began his career at VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System (VANIHCS) as a Social Work Stipend Student in 1999. He has served in progressively higher leadership roles during his 22 years at VANIHCS including MHICM Team Leader, Quality Manager, Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff, Acting Clinic Operations Manager, St. Joseph County CBOC and most recently as the Chief, Social Work Service. Mr. Sheets is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a U.S. Army Veteran. He served 21 years in the Indiana Army National Guard, retiring as a Major in 2008, and deployed in support of the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as part of TF Cyclone supporting humanitarian efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mr. Sheets earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Indiana University, Bloomington and his Master of Social Work at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.