Robert A. Petzel, MD has taken the oath of office as the under secretary for health within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Dr. Petzel brings to this position a strong leadership background in caring for veterans as a longtime health system manager in VA,” Eric K. Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs, said in a news release. “His commitment to outstanding medical quality and access for veterans will be critical to leading VA in its 21st century transformation.”
Petzel had been acting principal deputy under secretary for health since May 2009. Previously, he directed one of VA’s 21 geographic health care networks covering eight medical centers and 42 community based outpatient clinics serving veterans in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Illinois and western Wisconsin.
During his decades of service to veterans in VA, he has served on numerous advisory committees that guided development of new and improved health care programs. Board-certified in internal medicine, Petzel also has served previously as chief of staff for the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.
He graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1969 and has served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Medical School.