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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

 

Michael J. Kussman, VA Under Secretary for Health, to Retire

April 7, 2009, 08:00:00 AM

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WASHINGTON – Dr. Michael J. Kussman, the Under Secretary for Health for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), today announced his intention to retire from federal service by May 9, ending a 37-year government career.  Dr. Kussman, who attained the rank of brigadier general while in the U.S. Army, has been with VA since 2000.

As Under Secretary for Health since 2007, Dr. Kussman has directed a health care system with an annual budget of approximately $40.2 billion, overseeing the delivery of care to more than 5.6 million Veterans.  VA, the nation’s largest health care system, employs more than 231,000 health care professionals and support staff at more than 1,400 sites of care, including hospitals; community and facility-based clinics; nursing homes; domiciliaries; readjustment counseling centers, and various other facilities.

“I’ve appreciated the tremendous opportunity VA has given me to continue to serve those with whom I served while in uniform,” said Kussman. “VA has a reputation for providing ‘the best care anywhere,’ and I hope I have helped to enhance that reputation.”

In addition to its health care mission, VA is the nation’s largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical and scientific research.  More than 80,000 volunteers, 100,000 health profession trainees, and 25,000 affiliated medical faculty members are integral parts of VA’s health care community.

A native of Troy, N.Y., Kussman earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Boston University, receiving his medical degree in 1968.  In 1994, he earned a master’s degree in management from Salve Regina University.  He is also a graduate of the Army War College and an honor graduate of the Command and General Staff College.  He is board-certified in internal medicine and serves on the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

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