Leadership Team - Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


Leadership Team

Patricia Hall, Director

Patricia Hall | 573-814-6300


Patricia Hall, PhD, FACHE, is Medical Center Director of Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia Missouri. Dr. Hall became director in September 2019. Dr. Hall has held several leadership positions in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to include her recent role as Director of John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, Missouri; Associate Director of Patient Care Services at VA Medical Centers in both Tomah, Wisconsin, and Kansas City, Missouri; and Acting Director of the St. Louis VA Medical Center. A retired U.S. Army colonel, Dr. Hall served as hospital commander of the 452nd Combat Support Hospital in both Salerno, Afghanistan, and Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. Dr. Hall is a Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Restore Hope and is a Bronze Star recipient. Dr. Hall holds a Doctor of Health Care Administration from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota; a master’s degree in Adult Health from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Additionally, she received a Bachelor of Nursing degree from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Dr. Hall’s husband Bradley also is a retired U.S. Army colonel. The couple has two adult children – Abigail, a U.S. Army Veteran, and Aaron, who currently serves in the U.S. Air Force.

Lana Zerrer, MD, Chief of Staff

Lana Zerrer, MD | 573-814-6310

Chief of Staff

Lana Zerrer, MD, was appointed Chief of Staff at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital effective June 20, 2010. She served as Acting Chief of Staff between October 2009 and June 2010. In January 2007, she was appointed Director of the Primary Care Service Line at Truman VA. Dr. Zerrer began her VA career in August 2005 as a staff physician and Primary Care Provider at the same facility. A native of Missouri, Dr. Zerrer earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, in 1995 and her medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1999. She completed a residency in internal medicine in 2002 at the University of Missouri and is board certified. Dr. Zerrer served in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps, achieving the rank of Major, from 2002 to 2005. Her military experience included deployment to Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Dr. Zerrer is a member of the American College of Physicians.

Robert Ritter, FACHE, Associate Director

Robert Ritter, FACHE | 573-814-6301

Associate Director

Robert G. Ritter, FACHE, was appointed Associate Director effective June 18, 2012. He came to VA after serving for 27 years as a healthcare executive in the U.S. Air Force, retiring at the rank of colonel in 2012. During those 27 years, Ritter served in progressively responsible positions culminating as Commander of the 28th Medical Group at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Among his military awards are the Legion of Merit and the Iraq and Kosovo Campaign Medals. A native of New Hampshire, Ritter is a board certified fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), Glassboro, New Jersey. Ritter also earned master’s degrees in healthcare administration from the University of North Carolina and systems management from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of the Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives. He is married with two children.

Stephanie Absher, RN, Nurse Executive

Stephanie Absher, RN | 573-814-6255

Nurse Executive

Stephanie Absher, RN, was appointed Associate Director for Patient Services and Nurse Executive effective August 1, 2019. Ms. Absher is responsible for the provision of professional nurse practice and executive oversight of inpatient care wards. Those areas include the Intensive Care Unit, the Step-Down Unit and the Community Living Center; the Ambulatory Procedures Unit; Specialty Care Outpatient Clinics; Sterile Processing; Ward Administration; and Social Work and Chaplain Services. Ms. Absher has worked as a Master-prepared registered nurse at Truman VA for 18 years. She began her career in 2001 as a staff nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Ms. Absher began her leadership career – first by becoming an ICU charge nurse. In 2009, she became the ICU Nurse Manager. In those roles, Ms. Absher also was able to assist several of her nurse colleagues in their pursuit of achieving leadership positions at Truman VA. In 2015, Ms. Absher became the Surgical Inpatient nurse manager. She continued to serve in various roles throughout the hospital, to include Associate Chief Nurse of the Operating Room, Emergency Department, Cardiology and Specialty Clinics. In 2017, Ms. Absher accepted the Associate Chief Nurse position over the inpatient wards and staffing office. In 2018 and 2018, she worked with a facility team to successfully open two new units, which increased bed availability at the medical center.

Paul F. Hopkins, Assistant Director

Paul F. Hopkins | 573-814-6282

Assistant Director

Paul F. Hopkins was appointed Assistant Director at Truman VA effective April 6, 2014. He has served as Truman VA's Chief Financial Officer since 2008. In his new role, Hopkins is responsible for the following services and programs: Facilities Management, Police, Voluntary Service, Safety, and GEMS. A native of Columbia, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Columbia College and a master's degree in business administration from William Woods University, Fulton, Mo. Hopkins completed VA's Health Care Leadership Development Program in 2011. Now retired from the U.S. Army Reserves, he served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2002- 2003. His VA career began in 1992 as an accounting technician at Truman VA. Hopkins served in a variety of positions including lead payroll technician, budget analyst, chief accountant and director of the business operations service line before his appointment as Chief Financial Officer.