Fernando O. Rivera was appointed Director of the VA Capitol Health Care Network (VISN 5) for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in December 2010. In this role, Mr. Rivera is the Chief Executive Officer responsible for VISN administrative and health care services provided at four VA Medical Centers, four VA Community Living Centers, and 17 VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics within Maryland, the District of Columbia, and portions of Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He oversees VISN 5 and its 6,815 employees, 1,621 authorized beds, and an annual operating budget of $1.28 billion. The Network serves a population of over 785,000 Veterans with 218,000 Veteran patients enrolled in VA health care, and nearly 1.7 million outpatient visits. VISN 5 maintains six major medical school affiliations. Unique clinical programs and nationally recognized VA Centers of Excellence include a Seriously Mentally Ill Program, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Health Care for the Homeless Program, Home Based Primary Care Program, GRECC (Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center), MIRECC (Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center), Center of Innovation for Patient Centered Care.
Mr. Rivera has 28 years of service with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Immediately prior to his appointment as Network Director, he was the Director at the Washington DC VA Medical Center. Before his tenure at the DC VA Medical Center, Mr. Rivera was the Director at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center, and the Acting Director at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center.
Previously, Mr. Rivera held positions as Associate Medical Center Director, Clinical Information Management Service Line Director/CIO, and Safety Engineer all at the New Orleans VA Medical Center, where he was named VA "Engineer of the Year." In 2007 and 2008 he was awarded the VHA Communicator of the Year Award and in 2008 he earned the Matthew McNulty Award from the National Capital Health Care Council. He is a recipient of a 2009 Meritorious Presidential Rank Award.
Mr. Rivera is actively involved in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). In 2012 he was recognized by ACHE with the Federal Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Award. He is a Fellow in ACHE, a faculty member of the College and a member of the ACHE Career Development Committee. He is also a member of the ACHE National Capital Chapter and the recipient of its 2010 Recognition Service Award.
Mr. Rivera earned a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's of Business Administration Degree from the University of New Orleans. He is an Executive Coach with Georgetown University and was recognized as the 2012 VHA Preceptor of the Year. Mr. Rivera is committed to community service on many levels. He is an honorary member of the Vietnam Memorial Wall Washing Crew and had been recognized by the Military Order of the Purple Heart Distinguished Service Award, the Marine Corps League Distinguished Service Award and the AMVETS Service Award. He is also active in the Boy Scouts of America.