WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, held a hearing today to review two of President Barack Obama’s nominees to the Department of Veterans Affairs: Dr. Robert A. Petzel, to be Under Secretary for Health, and Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, to be Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning. Senator Akaka also announced his intent to schedule a Committee vote on the nominees next week.
“If confirmed, these nominees will face tremendous responsibilities. VA operates the largest health care system in the nation and needs strong leadership as troops continue to return from the ongoing conflicts. The President’s nominees are qualified, and I urge my colleagues to support their confirmation,” said Akaka.
Dr. Petzel is currently VA’s Acting Principal Under Secretary for Health, and has served as a VA Network Director and VA Medical Center Chief of Staff. As Under Secretary of Health, Dr. Petzel would lead a growing health care system with hundreds of points of care across the nation, including VA’s mental health care, medical education, research and rehabilitation operations.
Dr. Perea-Henze has served in leadership positions in the public and private sector, most recently as Senior Executive in Global Health Policy and Medical Operations for Merck and Pfizer. As Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning, Dr. Perea-Henze’s responsibilities would touch on many aspects of the second-largest Cabinet-level Department.
Chairman Akaka’s full statement on the nominees, witness testimony and a webcast are available at www.veterans.senate.gov.
December 9, 2009