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Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center Welcomes New Leader

Image of The passing of the unit colors takes place during at transfer of directorship ceremony held at the Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center at Fort Belvoir on July 5. Pictured from the left are U.S. Army Col. Elba Villacorta, the new director of the ATAMMC, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Anne Swap, former director of the National Capital Medical Directorate, and U.S. Army Col. Kathy Spangler, outgoing director of the ATAMMC. U.S. Army Col. Elba M. Villacorta was named July 5 as the new director of Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center, formerly known as Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

U.S. Army Col. Elba M. Villacorta was named July 5 as the new director of Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center, formerly known as Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

Villacorta succeeds outgoing director U.S. Army Col. Kathy Spangler.

“I am honored to be the hospital director of an organization committed to exceptional patient experiences and innovative health care,” said Villacorta at a transfer of directorship ceremony at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. “It is a true honor and privilege.”

Villacorta previously served as the command nurse executive of Medical Readiness Command, U.S. Army Public Health Command-Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and immigrated to the United States when she was six years old, settling in Los Angeles, California. She was commissioned in the Army Nurse Corps in July 1997 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

“Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center is the readiness platform of choice,” said Villacorta. “I would not be standing here today were it not for leaders who believed in me, leaders who took a chance on me, and leaders who encouraged and inspired me to be the best I could be.”

During the ceremony, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Anne Swap, former director, National Capital Region Market, who served as presiding officer of the ceremony, welcomed Villacorta to the NCR medical market. “You will be challenged as you navigate being in a director role,” said Swap. “The challenges and opportunities we face in health care today are unprecedented. I’m confident you will excel leading this team.”

While thanking her former team for their dedication, Spangler said, “this experience has made me a better person, a better leader, and I cannot thank you enough for all the support along the way.”

“I'm eternally grateful for this opportunity to be the director of this great medical center,” Spangler said. “Your ability to navigate and translate our needs and tell our story to higher headquarters has been paramount.”

Spangler talked about five specific achievements accomplished during her tenure:

  • Support to Operation Allies Welcome, assisting Afghan nationals as they safely resettled in the U.S., and the ability to pivot to expand their medical capability
  • A successful Joint Commission Triannual Survey
  • Achieving Level III Trauma Center status
  • Adopting the new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS
  • Transitioning Fort Belvoir Community Hospital to a military medical center under a new name

“Simply put—our purpose is to take care of America’s sons and daughters—what a privilege that is. You show me this daily,” said Spangler. “I'm so fortunate to transition with my friend Colonel Elba. She is a rock star within military medicine, and I know she will propel this team in the right direction.”

While noting the ATAMMC is named for the first African American physician in the U.S. Army and first black professor of medicine in the U.S., Villacorta said this was “the perfect choice to symbolize who we are. We surpass boundaries.”

“The strength of the ATAMMC lies with the dedicated people and the team. Let’s continue to excel and live up to our namesake.”

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Last Updated: October 02, 2023
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