Providing health care to veterans who have served or are serving our nation is something Dayton VA Medical Center CEO Glenn Costie and a staff of more than 2,000 employees feel strongly about.

“Veterans earned their health care for their service,” says Costie, who was appointed CEO and medical center director of the Dayton VA in December 2011.

Costie has been with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs his entire career. working as associate director of the VA Maryland Healthcare System and the VP Facilities Chief of Engineering Services of the Louis Stokes Department of VA Medical Center in Cleveland. He also worked as acting director of the Phoenix VA Healthcare System following a crisis with top level management in 2014

“I’m proud to take care of them,” says Costie.

And by “them,” Costie means veterans from the Vietnam War, World War II, the Korean War and many others. “They’ll say, ‘I was at D-Day’ or ‘I was at the Battle of the Bulge,’” says Costie. “It’s an honor.

“We have made a commitment to take care of ourselves, to take care of our peers and to take care of our veterans.”

That commitment began nearly 150 years ago, when the Dayton VA went by a different name.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the establishment of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. Dayton was selected as one of three original sites to care for disabled veterans of the Union Army and, in 1867, the Dayton VA Medical Center accepted its first patient. At one point, it was the largest facility of the National Soldier’s Home System. In the 1930s, President Herbert Hoover consolidated the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, the Veterans Bureau and the Pension Bureau, calling it the Veterans Administration. It was during the presidency of Ronald Reagan that the Veterans Administration was renamed the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Today, the Dayton VA Medical Center is a significant player in the health care market, serving 40,000 veterans annually.

A number, Costie says, that goes up 2-3 percent each year.

“We believe we can see up to 60,000 veterans at our facility,” he says.

The Dayton VA provides a range of health care services, including surgical, medical, mental health, home and community health programs; geriatric, physical medicine and therapy services; neurology, oncology and dentistry; and hospice. It also has contracts with Wright Patterson Air Force Base and 11 area hospitals, giving veterans more options.

Costie says, “If there is something we don’t do, we approach our community health partners.”

Currently, the Dayton VA Medical Center serves a 16-county area with outpatient centers in Lima, Middletown, Richmond and Springfield.

Costie says that the Dayton VA is in the process of doubling the size of its Lima and Richmond centers within the next few years. There are also plans to expand the Dayton VA’s reach of care to veterans in other counties. “We are looking for more efficient tactics,” he says.

Costie says the Dayton VA is undergoing a $90 million dollar plan for campus improvements to renovate the tower, private rooms and bathrooms, and realigning functions of existing buildings to free up some space for the community.