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VA New York/New Jersey Health Care Network Announces New Medical Center Executive Director


June 13, 2022

Bronx , NY — The Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Balavankatesh Kanna as the new director of the James J. Peters VA Medical Center (VAMC). Dr. Kanna will oversee health care delivery to more than 27,000 Veterans.

“We are excited to bring Dr. Kanna on board as the new director of the James J. Peters VA Medical Center,” said Dr. Joan McInerney, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 2 Director.  “His sound leadership qualities and proven experience will be valuable assets for the facility, the employees and volunteers, and most importantly, for the Veterans, we are honored to serve.  We anticipate he will arrive at the medical center within the next 45 to 60 days to begin his appointment.” 

Dr. Kanna received his medical degree from Coimbatore Medical College in India and has served the Bronx community since completing his residency in internal medicine 25 years ago in 1997. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and earned the Certified Professional in Patient Safety credential from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Dr. Kanna’s proven leadership and considerable experience make him well-equipped to oversee the delivery of high-quality care to our nation’s Veterans at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center. He has held several clinical and executive leadership positions, including Chief Patient Safety Officer, Associate Chief Medical Officer, and Associate Graduate Medical Education Director & Facility Research Review Chair. Most recently, he oversaw multiple clinical and non-clinical departments as the Chief Operating Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, which has an operating budget of over $600M, an inpatient capacity of 362 beds, and is the busiest Level 1 Trauma Center in the northeast region.

Dr. Kanna received a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2005. His strong background in community-based clinical research will be a significant asset to James J. Peters VAMC’s world-renowned research program, where researchers have received many national and international awards, including the Nobel Prize.

The VA medical center in the Bronx is the oldest VA facility in New York City, dating back to the 1920s. Located on a historic site used as a strategic vantage point during the Revolutionary War, the James J. Peters VAMC sits atop the highest point in New York City. With over 1,600 staff and 430 inpatient beds, The James J. Peters VAMC provides primary and specialty health care services to Veterans living in a 3-county area in and around New York City.

Media contacts

Julio Pagan, Public Affairs Officer

(718) 584-9000 x6620

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