Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
Distinguished Group Selected for CARES Commission
March 3, 2003, 08:00:00 AM
“The independent commission will review VA’s capital asset needs and ensure that the concerns of veterans and other stakeholders are fully addressed,” said Secretary Principi. “The commission will receive recommendations prepared by VA’s under secretary for health, and will consider comments from veterans service organizations, individual veterans, Congress, health care service providers and related affiliates, VA employees, local government entities, community groups and others.”
The commission held its first public meeting Feb. 19-20 and will continue to hold public hearings both in
The Honorable Everett Alvarez, Jr., selected to chair the commission, is best known as the first American aviator shot down over
Alvarez and the CARES Commission will operate as a federal advisory committee, composed of people with expertise in various aspects of health care and particular interest in the efficient delivery of benefits and services to the nation’s veterans. All of the administrative actions to officially establish the commission, as required by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, have been taken.
The members of the commission are Charles Battaglia, former staff director of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs; Dr. Joseph Binard, former VA physician and specialist in spinal cord injury treatment; Raymond Boland, Wisconsin secretary of Veterans Affairs and president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs; Chad Colley, former national commander of the Disabled American Veterans and a triple amputee from the Vietnam War; Vernice Ferguson, former executive in the VA nursing program; and Dr. John Kendall, dean emeritus and professor of medicine emeritus at Oregon Health and Sciences University.
Also serving are Dr. Richard McCormick, former director of mental health care, VA Health Care System of Ohio; Richard Pell, Jr., former VA chief of staff; Robert A. "Bob" Ray, former American Legion Commander in Ohio; Sister Patricia Vandenberg, former president and chief executive officer, Holly Cross Health System, South Bend, Ind.; Raymond John Vogel, former VA under secretary for benefits; Jo Ann K. Webb, director of federal relations for the American Organization of Nurse Executives; Maj. Gen. Michael Wyrick, former deputy surgeon general, U.S. Air Force; and Al Zamberlan, former VA health care regional director. Mr. Vogel will also serve as the vice chairman of the commission.
Principi also announced the appointment of the executive director of the commission, Richard E. Larson. A 29-year federal executive, Larson most recently served as a staff assistant to the secretary.
“Each of these people brings special qualifications to the commission, as well as sensitivity to the commission’s unique mission,” said Principi. “I am confident that the independent commission’s external assessment of VA’s capital asset needs will ensure that veterans’ and other stakeholders’ concerns are fully addressed.”
Brief biographies of each commission member are attached. For more information on the CARES process, please see http://www.va.gov/CARES.
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CARES Commission Members
Chairman: The Honorable Everett Alvarez, Jr.
Everett Alveraz, a distinguished naval officer and government executive, is best known as the first American aviator shot down over North Vietnam. He was taken prisoner of war and held in
Vice Chairman: Raymond John Vogel
Vogel has been president of R. J. Vogel and Associates, a consulting company in
An Army veteran, Vogel holds a master's of science degree in government administration from
Charles Battaglia has more than 35 years of service in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. From 1997 to 2000, he served as the staff director of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs where he directed authorization, oversight and legislative activities for veterans health care and benefits. From the mid-1980s to 1997, Battaglia served as a senior staff member and staff director of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence where he directed congressional oversight and program and budget reviews of all intelligence agencies. Battaglia also had an extensive career as a naval officer.
Joseph E. Binard, MD,
Raymond Boland, a Vietnam War veteran, served in the Army for 30 years and has served as the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs since 1992. As secretary, he oversees support to
Boland is the current president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. This association provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among state veterans organizations, facilitates reciprocal state services, and seeks to secure uniformity, equality, and efficiency in providing services to veterans in all
Colley has served in numerous positions with veterans associations, including as National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans. During
Vernice Ferguson, RN, M.A., F.A.A.N., F.R.C.N.
Dr. Kendall has served as a consultant in multiple local and national capacities. These include president of the Multnomah (
Richard Pell, Jr.
Richard Pell, Jr., has served as senior vice president of administration of Genesis Health Ventures since April 1998. He oversees human resources, law, government relations, public relations, marketing, property management and clinical practice and outcomes. Before joining Genesis in 1998, Pell was the director of the
Robert A. “Bob” Ray
Bob Ray has more than 37 years of diversified experience in business and with veterans’ issues. As the state commander of the American Legion in
A Navy veteran, Ray’s business experience includes positions with Ford Motor Company, from which he retired as a senior manufacturing engineer in 1996.
Sister Patricia Vandenberg, CSC
Sister Patricia Vandenberg is currently the director of the Health Care MBA program at
Sister Vandenberg holds a master's of health administration from
Jo Ann K. Webb, RN, MHA
Jo Ann Webb is currently the director of Federal Relations and Policy for the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association. Webb has held two presidential appointments within the Department of Veterans Affairs as the assistant secretary for policy and planning and as the director of the National Cemetery System. She is the former legislative director for Senator Tim Hutchinson and the former staff director of the subcommittee on health, for the House Veterans Affairs Committee. She also served as a consultant and director of health policy for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. She served as an Army nurse and holds a bachelor's degree from
Webb was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Exceptional Service Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs. She is an alumni fellow of
Michael Wyrick, Major General, USAF, Ret.
General Wyrick has 34 years of leadership and management experience in complex health care operations. He served as the deputy surgeon general of the Air Force Medical Service from 1997 until his retirement in 1999. He currently is executive director of a nonprofit association with 13 hospitals in northern
In addition, General Wyrick is president of the National Capital Region Emergency Response, a nonprofit organization in
Al Zamberlan has an undergraduate degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a master degree in health care administration from
Zamberlan served in VA from 1962 to 1994 in a variety of positions including the Veterans Health Administration regional director for both the Central Region and the Great Lakes Region. As regional director, he oversaw the operation of numerous medical centers and clinics in each multi-state region. He has also served as director at three VA medical centers. He is a life member of the
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