VA's top doctor to step down

The Veterans Affairs Department announced today that undersecretary for health Jonathan Perlin has resigned, effective Aug. 11. Perlin has led VA's Veterans Health Administration, the nation's largest integrated health care system, since 2004. He plans to take a private-sector position.

Under Perlin's leadership, VA's health care has received praise for innovation and continues to outperform the private sector for quality, safety, customer satisfaction and use of electronic health records, said VA secretary Jim Nicholson.

"Jon Perlin's dedicated service to our nation's veterans is evidenced by the fact that VA's health care is now widely recognized as a model for safety, efficiency, effectiveness and compassion," he Nicholson in a statement.

Perlin, who has held several positions with VA since 1999, will accept a position as chief medical officer and senior vice president for quality at HCA, a Nashville, Tenn.-based health care provider.

He has also been a commissioner to the American Health Information Community, chartered by the Health and Human Services Department to promote the availability of electronic health records and other health IT.

Earlier this week, VA's electronic health record system received the Innovations in American Government Award sponsored by Harvard University's Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government and administered in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government.

Prior to joining VA, Perlin was involved with health care quality management, health IT, medical education and health services research. Perlin was medical director for quality improvement at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals ' Virginia Commonwealth University Health System.

He earned his doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology with his medical degree as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia campus in Richmond, Va.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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