Saturday January 19, 2013

NEAL P. GOSWAMI

BENNINGTON -- The Vermont Veterans Home Board of Trustees has hired an assistant administrator.

Alan Faxon, a retired Marine who served for 28 years, will begin his role at the home on Feb. 11, according to Administrator Melissa Jackson. He is a former teacher at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester and currently works in Ohio for the Department of Homeland Security.

Jackson said she and the board were pleased to have a Vermont native, and someone with a military background. "That was important to us, ensuring that it was someone from the community," she said. "We had heard repeatedly the concern that there wasn't a veteran in a top management position, so we definitely took that into consideration."

Faxon has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Jackson. He brings strong leadership skills to the position, she said. He also served as an inspector general while in the Marines. That will help the home evaluate its systems and ensure quality care, Jackson said.

"I think a lot of his experiences in the Marines will serve us well," she said.

Favorite candidate

Board of Trustees President Joseph L. Krawczyk Jr. said the Faxon was the overwhelmingly favorite candidate among board members.

"I think he's going to be great. One, he's a veteran, and two, he's got great people skills," Krawczyk said. "He's had major success dealing with people and taking on tough things wherever he's been.


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Faxon replaces Karen Woodcock, who was fired by the board in September as part of an effort to turn around the facility, which was facing federal decertification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A series of inspections last year turned up several deficiencies at the home that had to be corrected, otherwise it was set to lose $12 million in federal funds.

The home was able to maintain its certification, but is now under closer scrutiny by regulators. Jackson said Faxon will help the facility continue moving forward.

"We're very exciting to have him come on board. I'm very excited to have him join our team and help us continue moving in a positive direction," she said.