WASHINGTON– The VA has begun the process of selecting the next head of the VHA, the agency announced this week.
“This is one of the most important jobs in government today,” Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson said in a written statement. “This is the largest integrated healthcare system in the country. We need a leader who will be a change agent and deliver necessary reforms to provide our veterans timely access to the world-class healthcare they’ve earned and deserve.”
VHA Undersecretary for Health Robert Petzel, MD, stepped down from this position in May. The announcement of his resignation came a day after former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and Petzel appeared before the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs where they were questioned by lawmakers about treatment delays at the VA hospital in Phoenix. The announcement of Petzel’s resignation by VA was criticized by some who pointed out that Petzel was already scheduled to retire in 2014.
A commission comprised of nine healthcare experts and industry leaders are assessing candidates to serve as the new VHA Under Secretary for Health, VA explained in a statement.
The VA said that the commission includes:
American Academy of Nursing Fellow Nancy Adams, RN, major general retired
Disabled American Veterans Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine
Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Delos Cosgrove, M.D.
Army Surgeon General Lt. General Patricia Horoho
University of California Davis Health System Distinguished Professor and Director, Institute for Population Health Improvement, Kenneth W. Kizer, M.D., M.P.H.
Virginia Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Jennifer Lee, M.D.
Association of American Medical Colleges Chief Academic Officer John E. Prescott, M.D.
VA Chief of Staff Jose D. Riojas
Veterans of Foreign Wars Executive Director Bob Wallace
When Terrence O’Neil, MD, retired as chief of nephrology at the James H. Quillen VAMC in Johnson City in December 2016, he left in his wake decades of work treating kidney disease—nearly 35 years in the Air Force and DoD, plus 11 more at VA.
A long sought-after bill that would make it easier for Blue Water Navy veterans to receive Agent Orange benefits has been passed by a key House of Representatives committee.