After 30 years with the Department of Veteran Affairs, Cheyenne VA Medical Center Director Cythia McCormack has announced that she will retire on October 31.

McCormack joined the Department of Veteran Affairs in 1985 and has served as Director at the Cheyenne VA since August 2010.

Public Affairs Officer Sam House says the Cheyenne VA has seen an enormous amount of growth under her leadership.

"We've averaged about a 4.6% growth rate," said House. "We have a number of veterans who come to us outside our catchment area from Denver and from Nebraska that have heard a lot of good things about the Cheyenne VA and that really has to go toward the staff as well as the leadership that Dr. McCormack has performed over the last five years."

The Cheyenne VA has been under fire the last year, but House says "under no circumstances" is McCormack leaving because of that.

"When she came to the Cheyenne VA she set into motion a number of her goals. She wanted to increase the footprint of tele-health, that's going out into the rural communities and servicing veterans and providing them healthcare. She implemented a program of systems redesign that follows the Lean Six Sigma standard model," said House. "When we look over the tumultuous year that the VA has had, she remained in there, as a true leader does, and backed up her veterans and employees and she remained focused on the overall mission of caring for veterans."

House says an interim director will likely be named while a committee looks for a candidate to replace McCormack.

"The most important thing here to remember is that all the things that Dr. McCormack set into place, those things are going to continue to roll on," said House. "I think that is the sign of a true leader, being able to walk away and still have things move forward."

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