Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
Mr. Rick A. Ament, FACHE | 312-569-6101
Medical Center Director
Mr. Rick A. Ament was appointed Medical Center Director at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in March 2020. Prior to Jesse Brown, he served as the Director for Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, KS. Mr. Ament is responsible for strategic leadership and operations of a complex level 1B hospital facility with approximately 3,000 employees who provide care to over 45,000 Veterans and family members. He is a Board-Certified Healthcare Executive with over 30 years of experience in both the private and public sectors. Mr. Ament’s experiences include numerous CEO roles, organizational turnarounds, strategic consultations and multi-facility operations. As a consultant and operations improvement executive, he has positively impacted more than 30 hospitals. He has been the president of a tertiary hospital and the COO of a large healthcare system in Wisconsin where he led a team of six Hospital Presidents. As the Regional Vice President and Market Manager for Quorum Health Resources, he had operational responsibility for 11 hospitals. He was CEO of Bay Area Medical Center where, in 1987 he and his team were recognized nationally as Hospital Magazine’s “Turnaround Hospital of the Year”. Mr. Ament has been the recipient of the Wisconsin Regent’s Award as the ACHE Young Healthcare Executive of the Year. A proud, second generation, Air Force Veteran, Mr. Ament served six years active duty, including two years as a Medical Service Corps officer. A graduate of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, Mr. Ament was commissioned a second lieutenant and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He later received his Master of Science in Hospital Administration from Central Michigan University.
Ms. Rebecca J. Strini, MHA, CLSSBB | 312-569-7901
Acting Associate Medical Center Director
Ms. Rebecca Strini was appointed as Acting Associate Director at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in January 2021. She joins us from her home facility of Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center. Ms. Strini began her VA career as a student intern in the Director’s Office in 2009 at the Iowa City VA Health Care System in Iowa City, Iowa and has served in various roles throughout the Midwest and Great Lakes Health Care Networks. Prior to joining the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in September 2019, Ms. Strini served as the Chief of Organizational Improvement at the William S. Middleton VA Memorial Hospital in Madison, WI, from April 2016 to August 2019. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, she is responsible for several administrative operations and services of the health care system, including: Pharmacy, Human Resources, Fiscal, Engineering, Supply Chain Management, Compliance, Police, Safety, Emergency Management, Radiation Safety, Strategic Planning, and Privacy. Ms. Rebecca Strini has a strong background in Change Management, Process Improvement, and Project Management, and is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Ms. Strini holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences and Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. She is a graduate of the 2017 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) Leadership Development Program and is currently enrolled in the 2020 class of the Veterans Health Administration’s National Healthcare Leadership Develop Program.
Mr. Ryan J. Landi, MHA, MPH | 312-569-6212
Mr. Landi began his VA career in 2012 in the Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP) at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital (Hines, IL – Chicagoland). Since then he has held roles as an Administrative Officer (AO) for Nursing Service, Ambulatory Care Section Chief within Patient Administration Service (PAS), AO for Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) at VA Central Office, and Assistant Chief of PAS at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (JBVAMC). During his most recent role as Acting Health System Specialist (HSS) to the Medical Center Director at JBVAMC, he served as a trusted advisor to the senior leadership team and provided assistance on administrative matters affecting patient care, budget, staffing, trend analysis, education, and organizational policy. As the Assistant Director, Mr. Landi has direct responsibility for the following services and programs: Environmental Management, Nutrition and Food Service, Occupational Health and Safety, Patient Administration Service, Prosthetics, Radiation Safety, Veteran Experience Office/Customer Service, Voluntary and facility liaison to the North Central Consolidated Patient Account Center, Office of Information & Technology, and the Veterans Canteen Service. Mr. Landi is a native to the Chicagoland area and holds a Master’s in Health Administration (MHA) along with a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in Policy from the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA). He is actively involved as the Chair of the Education and Networking Committee of the local Chicago chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and is a graduate of the VISN Leadership Development Program (VLDP - 2017). When away from work, he can be found spending time with friends, traveling and contributing back to his community.
Dr. Sarah Unterman, MD, FACEP | 312-569-6102
Chief of Staff
Dr. Sarah Unterman was selected as Chief of Staff at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (JBVAMC) in June 2019. She is responsible for all clinical care in the medical center and associated community-based outpatient clinics. She is a board-certified Emergency Physician. Since completing residency, Dr. Unterman worked for several years at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and has been on staff in the Emergency Department (ED) at Jesse Brown since 2007. In 2015, she became the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Jesse Brown. Dr. Unterman began serving as the Acting Associate Chief of Staff for Clinical Affairs in September 2018 and as Chief of Staff in June of 2019. Dr. Unterman graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with a bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She completed her medical degree at UIC in 2004 and her Emergency Medicine residency at UIC in 2007. Dr. Unterman completed the VHA Health Care Leadership Development Program in 2017. She is a recipient of UIC’s Emergency Medicine Residency Golden Hammer Award, member of Phi Beta Kappa and the 2018 Spirit of Jesse Brown Award in the supervisory category. Dr. Unterman has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals. She has served as a pre-publication peer reviewer for the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Unterman holds academic appointments as Lecturer at Northwestern University and Clinical Associate Professor at UIC. She has received the UIC Internal Medicine Residency teaching award three times. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to museums and hanging out with her children.
Dr. Brenda Burke, DNP, MBA, RN | 312-569-6200
Associate Director for Patient Care Service/Nurse Executive
Dr. Brenda Burke was selected as Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive for the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (JBVAMC) in April 2018. She brings over 20 years of nursing experience to this role, including 10 years as an Emergency Department Nurse. As Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive, she is responsible for the operation and evaluation for Patient Care Services which includes; Nursing, Sterile Processing Service, Social Work, Chaplain Services, Voluntary Services, Respiratory Services, Customer Services and the Veteran Transportation Program within the health care center. Dr. Burke joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010 at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago as the Associate Chief Nurse for Acute Care. She later relocated to the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in 2013 as the Chief Nurse for the Community Living Center & Specialty Services and was promoted to the Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services in 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration from St. Xavier University as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She completed the Health Care Leadership Development Program in July 2018. Dr. Burke and her husband Tim are Chicago natives and have three grown sons. They spend their free time entertaining, gardening, and cooking.