DAV is encouraged by VA’s June 25 announcement of several personnel changes aimed at addressing the health care access issues plaguing veterans.
In mid-June, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson began the process of selecting the next head of the Veterans Health Administration. He appointed a commission of nine healthcare experts and industry leaders to assess a series of candidates to serve in this capacity.
“This is one of the most important jobs in government today,” said Gibson. “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. The expert panel we’ve assembled to recommend our new health chief understands the urgency and the seriousness of the task ahead, and I’m grateful for their efforts.”
DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine served on the commission, providing valuable insight into what qualifications would best benefit the millions of veterans VA serves.
“DAV has long served as the voice of America’s ill and injured veterans,” said Augustine. “It is essential that VA’s new leadership have the knowledge and ability to provide timely, quality health care to the men and women who served. They deserve nothing less.”
At the Veterans Health Administration Leadership Summit in Washington, Gibson announced effective July 2, Dr. Carolyn Clancy will serve as interim Under Secretary for Health. She will lead the Department’s immediate efforts to accelerate Veterans’ access to care. Clancy, a general internist, has been with VA since August of 2013, serving as the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Quality, Safety and Value.
“Dr. Clancy brings years of experience managing health care systems and I am confident her proven leadership and innovation will ensure veterans receive the quality care they have earned,” said Augustine.
Additionally, Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, Chief Medical Officer and President, Clinical Services for Hospital Corporation of America, will serve as
Senior Advisor to the Acting Secretary. Perlin, who previously served as VA Under Secretary for Health, is also chair-elect of the American Hospital Association. Perlin will be taking a leave of absence from his current duties for the short duration of this interim role back at the VA.
“DAV looks forward to working with Dr. Clancy, Dr. Perlin and their staff,” said Augustine. “We applaud Acting Secretary Gibson’s proactive changes and look forward to working with the new leadership team. Together, we can ensure the men and women who served lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity.”