The performing head of the Veterans Health Administration introduced his plans to step away from the put up in mid-July amid hypothesis the White Home is closing in on a nominee to fill the put up completely.
Dr. Richard Stone, who has served as government answerable for VHA since 2018, made the announcement of his departure in a message to workers Thursday morning. He stated the choice got here after White Home officers knowledgeable him he was now not being thought-about for the everlasting put up.
“Throughout my practically three years main VHA, as each government in cost and performing underneath secretary, I’ve loved extraordinary help from each secretaries I’ve served,” Stone stated. “I’m deeply saddened by this choice however am assured that the good workers of VHA will proceed to serve America’s veterans with excellence.”
In a separate assertion, VA Secretary Denis McDonough praised Stone for his work at VA.
“We owe Dr. Stone an immense debt of gratitude for his management, particularly in the course of the pandemic,” he stated. “When COVID-19 first started to unfold, Dr. Stone was among the many first folks veterans and their households heard from, delivering a easy and pressing message: ‘We’re going to be right here [for you] similar to now we have been for the final 100 years.’
“Underneath Dr. Stone’s management, VHA’s glorious workers have achieved precisely that — vaccinating hundreds of thousands, saving lives and risking every part to serve those that served our nation.”
Stone, who served because the Military’s deputy surgeon basic and deputy commanding basic for Military Medical Command, first served at VA because the second-ranking well being official underneath David Shulkin in 2016. He left when Shulkin grew to become VA secretary, however returned once more in 2018 to function the short-term head of VA’s well being operations underneath President Donald Trump.
That short-term job grew to become a close to everlasting put up. Within the final seven years, Shulkin is the one Senate-confirmed nominee to guide the VHA, and his stint within the job lasted solely 18 months earlier than his promotion.
Stone has been rumored regularly as a nominee for the underneath secretary of well being put up, underneath President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.
In March, VA leaders introduced that they had fashioned a fee to establish candidates for the job. Division officers didn’t present a listing of remaining candidates into consideration.
The Veterans Well being Administration is the biggest medical system in America, serving greater than 9 million sufferers yearly and boasting a finances of greater than $60 billion.
Stone stated in his assertion to workers that he’ll “be looking for new alternatives to serve my fellow veterans, as I’ve achieved in service to the nation for practically 30 years.”