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Name: Petzel, Robert
Current Position: Former Under Secretary

On November 17, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Robert A. (Randy) Petzel to be Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Petzel was officially sworn in by Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki on April 23, 2010, taking over the leadership of the Veterans Health Administration, which provides medical care to all veterans and runs VA hospitals throughout the country.

Petzel, who has spent almost his entire career with the VA as a doctor or administrator, graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1965 and from Northwestern University Medical School in 1969. He did his residency in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota. 
Petzel began his medical career at the VA, with the majority of his residency spent at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.  He rose up to become chief of staff at the Minneapolis Center in 1980, at the age of 35. For the next 15 years, he supervised the medical center’s clinical, research, and education activities. During this time he also became a member of the faculty at the University of Minnesota Medical School
In 1995, Petzel took on regional responsibilities, becoming network director for the VA Upper Midwest Health Care Network (VISN 13). He held this position until September 2002. When two regional networks merged, Petzel took over first and interim director and then, in October 2002, as network director for VISN 23. In this capacity, Petzel was responsible for for eight medical centers and 42 community based outpatient clinics serving veterans in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Illinois and Western Wisconsin.
Prior to his nomination by President Obama to take over the leadership of the Veterans Health Administration, Petzel was appointed Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health in May 2009. 
His professional interests have focused on evidence-based management, evidence-based medicine and the relationship between work place stress and patient outcomes. 
Petzel has co-chaired the National VHA Strategic Planning Committee and the VHA System Redesign Steering Committee.
Petzel and his wife, Sue, who is also a doctor, have two sons and a daughter.
Network Director Biography (Department of Veterans Affairs)
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