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VA Capitol Health Care Network


Leadership Team

Robert Walton, Network Director

Robert Walton | 410-691-1131

Network Director

Mr. Robert M. Walton, FACHE, was appointed Network Director for Veterans Integrated Service Network 5 in February 2019. As chief executive, he oversees eight medical centers and 27 community clinics throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, staffed by over 12,000 employees, with 1792 authorized beds, and a budget of $2.396 billion in fiscal year 2019. Beginning in 2015, he managed the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, a two-hospital health care system with an annual budget of $755 million and 4000 employees. From 2012 to 2015, Mr. Walton served as Director of the Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System in Harlingen, Texas. He also served as the Medical Center Director at the White River Junction VA Medical Center from October 2008 – April 2012. Before Mr. Walton’s tenure at White River Junction VA, he served as Associate Medical Center Director at James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, New York from May 2004 – October 2008. Mr. Walton served as Acting Director at VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System from February-September 2008. He served as Chief, Engineering from 1993-2004 at the Bronx VAMC. Mr. Walton began his VA career in 1986 at Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Walton has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Administration degree in Health Administration from Long Island University. He is a graduate of the VHA Executive Career Field Program and participated in the VA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. Mr. Walton is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and holds membership in the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Michelle Buchanan, Interim CMO - VISN 5

Michelle Buchanan | 410-691-1143

Interim CMO - VISN 5

Michelle R. Buchanan, MD, FACEP, MMM began serving as the VISN 5 interim chief medical officer in May, 2023. Dr. Buchanan was appointed as the VISN 5 deputy chief medical officer in 2019. In that role she had oversight of special populations, Credentialing & Privileging, prosthetics, Whole Health, geriatric and extended care, and is the network co-lead for emergency medicine. From 2016 to 2019, she was executive director of University Health at Howard University in Washington, DC, and also served as vice-chair and interim chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Howard University Hospital. She is board-certified in emergency medicine and has 20 years of experience in emergency medicine in the DC metropolitan area and Baltimore, MD areas. Dr. Buchanan earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Norfolk State University, her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine and a Master of Business Degree in Medical Management from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. She is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute class of 2022. Dr. Buchanan is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physician and member of the American Association for Physician Leadership.

Joseph M. Scotchlas, FACHE, Deputy Network Director

Joseph M. Scotchlas, FACHE | 410-691-7815

Deputy Network Director

Joseph M. Scotchlas, FACHE, was appointed deputy network director of the VA Capitol Healthcare Network (VISN 5) on June 21, 2022. As deputy network director, Mr. Scotchlas oversees operations at eight medical centers and 27 community clinics throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia, staffed by over 12,000 employees with an annual budget exceeding two billion dollars, providing care to over 235,000 Veterans. Mr. Scotchlas leads the auditing, biomedical engineering, business development, compliance, capital asset, emergency management, finance, logistics, police, prosthetics, and safety & occupational health functions across the network. Prior to coming to VISN 5, Mr. Scotchlas served as the assistant healthcare system director of the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System and as the acting associate healthcare system director of the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. Mr. Scotchlas started with VA in 2012 as an administrative fellow in the Graduate Health Administration Training Program (GHATP) at the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network. Mr. Scotchlas began his health care career in 2006, working as both a paramedic and an emergency medical technician for several 911-based services in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Scotchlas’ first VA experience was as an administrative intern at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center. Mr. Scotchlas holds a Master of Healthcare Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from The University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), a 2019 graduate of the Health Care Leadership Development Program, and is board certified in healthcare management. He received the Regent’s Award from ACHE in 2015 and a Distinguished Service Award from the NEPA Healthcare Management Forum in 2012.

Alissa K. Stredney, Quality Management Officer / Chief Nursing Officer

Alissa K. Stredney | 410-691-1131

Quality Management Officer / Chief Nursing Officer

Ms. Alissa K. Stredney was appointed quality management officer and chief nursing officer for Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 5 in August 2020. Previously, she held these roles in an acting capacity for VISN 12. In her current role, she leads the Quality Management and Performance Improvement program for the network, which provides health care to 235,000 Veteran patients in the District of Columbia, Maryland, northern Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, and eastern Kentucky. Stredney has a strong background in infection control and was an adjunct clinical associate in the field of quality improvement at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. Her 25 years of nursing experience in clinical, consultative and administrative roles includes previous VA experience as the VISN 12 deputy quality management officer, chief of quality management and VAIHCS infection control coordinator for the VA Illiana Health Care System, in addition to psychiatric, public health, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology nurse positions in the private sector. She is a member of the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs and the Illinois Association for Healthcare Quality. She is a certified VHA mentor, a graduate of the VISN 11 LEAD program, and a 2015 graduate of the Health Care Leadership Development program. Stredney earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing Education from Indiana Wesleyan and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Lakeview College of Nursing.