ST. CLOUD -- The new Director of the St. Cloud VA system Stephen Black sat down with WJON Thursday to answer some questions, and introduce himself.

He will officially take over the position from Acting Director Mark Aberle on April 2nd.

Black says maintaining the high standard for the VA's mental health system is one of his highest priorities.

" The VA has always been an industry leader in mental health coverage, that's something we've always focused on and we do it better than anyone in all of healthcare."

Black adds, his motivation to ensure top Veteran's care is an important goal of his, which stems from his father's Vietnam experience.

"It's always been easy for me to draw upon that and think, how would this impact my father, how would the decision we're making right now look from his perspective? I keep a picture of him in Vietnam in my office to remind me of why we're doing this and what we're doing every single day."

Black served as the Associate Director of the Durham VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina and has been the acting director of the Hampton VA since January 9th.

Black says maintaining his new post's five-star rating is his top priority.

Other priorities Black has are making sure local veterans are satisfied with their experiences at the VA, making sure they get care as soon as possible, and more teamwork with the community.

More From AM 1240 WJON