VHA acting Under Secretary Stone to step down

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Acting Under Secretary of the Veterans Health Administration Richard Stone is set to leave the agency in mid-July.

In a press release on Thursday, the agency announced the departure, adding that his replacement as leader of the Veterans Health Administration has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Stone oversaw the agency’s program to modernize its sprawling legacy electronic health record system, migrating to a cloud-based Cerner EHR platform. Over the last year he also led the VA’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

Stone was appointed Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Health at the VHA for the second time, after previously serving in the role between 2016 and 2017. Between 2018 and 2021 he was executive in charge at the Veterans Health Administration, and before that had a short spell in the private sector as a Vice President for military health at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C.

Stone is a medical doctor, and during his period of Army service was Deputy Surgeon General and Deputy Commanding General of Support for the US Army Medical Command.

Commenting on Stone’s departure, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough, said “We owe Dr. Stone an immense debt of gratitude for his leadership, especially during the pandemic.

“When COVID-19 first began to spread, Dr. Stone was among the first people Veterans and their families heard from, delivering a simple and urgent message: ‘We are going to be here [for you] just like we have been for the last 100 years.’

“As much as I hate to see Dr. Stone go, I am grateful to him for staying through mid-July, during which time I will continue to lean on him and learn from him.

“I’m proud to call Dr. Stone a friend and I thank him for his decades of service. Our nation is safer, and our Veterans are healthier because of his work,” he added.

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Army, Cerner, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), electronic health records (EHRs), US Army Medical Command, Veterans Health Administration
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