The Secretary of the VA, Dr. James B. Peake has appointed 13 members to the new Veterans Rural Health Advisory Committee to advise on rural healthcare issues. James F. Ahrens, former head of the Montana Hospital Association and former member of the Montana governor’s task force on healthcare will chair the committee.
Other members include:
- Dr. Robert Moser a practicing physician in rural Kansas and Colorado
- Cynthia Barrigan Acting Director of the Virginia Telehealth Network
- Charles Abramson Air Force veteran who served on the medical staff ethics committee at St. Patrick Hospital
- Major General John W. Libby Adjutant General of the Maine National Guard
- Hilda Heady a social worker and Associate Vice President for the West Virginia Rural Health Association
- Dr. Ronald Franks a psychiatrist and Vice President of the College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama
- Bruce Behringer Assistant Vice President at East Tennessee State University for Rural and Community Health
- Rachael Gonzales Hanson member of the National Association of Community Health Centers
- Tom Ricketts, PhD, Director of North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
- Michael Dobmeier National Judge Advocate of the Disabled American Veterans and President of the North Dakota Veterans Home Foundation
- Terry Schow Executive Director of the Utah Division of Veterans Affairs
- James Floyd, Native American and Director of the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center
Recently, the VA created the Travel Nurse Corps to enable VA nurses to travel and work throughout the department’s medical system to help stem nursing shortages. The nurses in addition to their nursing duties will be working very closely with the rural health advisory panel.