VA Creates Commission to Recommend the Next Under Secretary of Health to the President

Dr. Robert A Petzel will retire in 2014 after a four year term as Undersecretary of Health and the Veterans Administration is convening a commission to recommend candidates to succeed him.

The VA is required by law to convene the commission and is doing it prior to Petzel’s retirement because the process could potentially take such a long period of time.

“Dr. Petzel has assured me that he will continue to serve in his position until the Senate confirms a new Under Secretary for Health, in order to ensure a smooth transition,”said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

The commission will be launched this Fall and members will be “selected based upon criteria outlined in the law and their skills, knowledge and attributes as leaders, managers and educators,” according to a VA statement.

Petzel has served in his Undersecretary role since February 2010 where he has overseen the care of 6.3 million veterans and led an initiative to use mobile technology beyond the doctors visit.

“I have appreciated the privilege to serve Veterans by developing a healthcare system that reaches beyond simple treatment of diseases to a true partnership with Veterans,” said Dr. Petzel.

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