Dr. Jonathan Perlin Confirmed To Va Post By The U.S. Senate

April 29, 2005

Contact: Jeff Schrade 202-224-9093

(Washington, DC) During a late session of voting which went well past midnight, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Dr. Jonathan Perlin to be the Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs.  In that role he will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).  He has been the acting Under Secretary since April of last year.

?Dr. Perlin is an outstanding man.  I am pleased that my colleagues saw fit to confirm him to this important position and do so in such strong way,? said Sen. Larry Craig, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Perlin is now in charge of is the nation's largest integrated health system. 

The VHA's medical care budget is approximately $30 billion.  It employs nearly 200,000 health care professionals at more than 1,300 sites, including hospitals, community and facility-based clinics, nursing homes, and more.  In addition to its medical care mission, VHA is the nation's largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical and scientific research.

Before his nomination to his current position, Perlin served as the VA's Deputy Under Secretary for Health and as the Acting Chief Research and Development Officer.

Dr. Perlin has a master's of science in health administration.  He received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology (performing research in molecular biology) with his M.D. as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia Campus.

At his confirmation hearing three weeks ago, Perlin told Craig and other senators that when he was a medical student he received part of his training at a VA medical center. 

?My time at VA was my favorite part of the entire medical school experience.  I had the privilege of taking care of some of the last Buffalo Soldiers and World War I doughboys ? along with veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam,? Perlin said.

He said that to meet the challenge for rural care, the VA now has 871 medical clinics nationwide.  He said that the VA is now using telehealth and ?tele- mental-health? to enable veterans anywhere in the nation to be treated as close to home as possible.