Former VA Health Chief Kizer Wants Secretary Job

Believes he can help the department mend.

Dr. Ken Kizer, who served as undersecretary of health at the Veterans Affairs Department from 1994 to 1999, is seriously interested in the potential of the VA secretary job. “I care a great deal about the VA, and I do think I could help the organization mend,” he says.

Kizer, who has since 2011 served as Institute for Population Health Improvement at the University of Califonia Davis Health System and as a professor at its medical and nursing schools, told Tom Munnecke, a health care IT consultant and an early developer of the VA electronic health record, that through work on advisory committees since leaving the VA he has extensive experience on current VA issues.

Kizer’s experience includes work on PTSD, reintegration, blast injury, TBI and the fee care program.  “Key variables in my mind would be whether the administration would support changes that need to be made, as well as additional resources if such proved to be needed; whether the veteran service organizations would support my candidacy and needed reforms; whether it appeared that the unions would work constructively with management to make workforce changes, if needed; and whether it looked like relevant members of Congress would not obstruct improvements because of unrelated issues with the Administratios,” Kizer told Munnecke.

But, despite his interest, Kizer said, “I have absolutely no reason to believe that I am anywhere on the White House radar. One member of Congress has reached out to me, and I expect to talk with him this week.”

This is way above my pay grade – but I suggest the White House focus in on Kizer.