Brett P. Giroir, M.D., CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center and professor in the Texas A&M College of Medicine, has been named chairman of an advisory panel of health care and innovation leaders convened to support an independent review of analyses and assessments that are being performed as part of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Public Law No: 113-146) enacted by Congress and signed by the President of the United States.

Photo of Brett Giroir, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center

Brett P. Giroir, M.D., CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center, was recently named chairman of the VA Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel

The sixteen members of the Blue Ribbon Panel were chosen by The MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) including The CMS Alliance to Modernize Healthcare (CAMH). In October, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs selected CAMH as the program integrator to provide the operational framework and oversight for the assessments of hospital care, medical services and other health care processes in VA medical facilities.

The Blue Ribbon Panel members will provide independent, expert input on best practices and review CAMH’s interim assessments, draft, and integrated final report of the assessments to ensure that the recommendations will best serve U.S. veterans.

Giroir also chairs the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response, which in December 2014 issued a 174-page report and recommendations based on its assessment of the state’s capabilities to prepare for and respond to pandemic disease, such as the Ebola virus.

“As we gather information from the assessments, our work will be enhanced by the leadership of this aptly-named ‘blue ribbon’ panel of experts,” said Jay J. Schnitzer, M.D., Ph.D., director of biomedical sciences, MITRE Corporation. “We are grateful that world-renowned experts like Dr. Giroir have agreed to support this important initiative to help optimize the VA’s ability to serve our nation’s veterans.”

“The VA assessments are a vital step in ensuring that the hospital care, medical services and other health care processes in VA medical facilities are optimized to deliver the care that our veterans so richly deserve,” Giroir said. “I am honored and humbled to be leading the Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel, and I look forward to working with all stakeholders, most importantly the veterans themselves, and contributing to this essential endeavor.”

Additional members of the Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel include: Katrina Armstrong, M.D., MSCE, physician-in-chief, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine; Debra Barksdale, M.D., director of DNP Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Ronald R. Blanck, M.D., 39th surgeon general, U.S. Army; W. Warner Burke, professor of psychology and education, Columbia University; Christine K. Cassel, M.D., president and CEO, National Quality Forum; Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli (retired), former vice chief of staff, U.S. Army; George Halvorson, former chairman and executive officer, Kaiser Permanente; Robert L. Mallett, president, Accordia Global Health Foundation; Robert Margolis, M.D., co-chairman of the board, DaVita HealthCare Partners; George Poste, M.D., Del E. Webb professor of Health Innovation, Arizona State University; Robert Robbins, president and CEO, Texas Medical Center; Mark D. Smith, M.D., MBA, founder and former president and CEO, California HealthCare Foundation; Glenn D. Steele Jr., M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO, Geisinger Health System; Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Dean, Jefferson School of Nursing; Gail Wilensky, M.D., senior fellow, Project HOPE (panel co-chair)

— Holly Shive

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