State of VA Palo Alto - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


State of VA Palo Alto

July 20, 2016

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- VA Palo Alto Health Care System welcomes major change this year as we send off our long-time leader Lisa Freeman, who retired this June, after more than 30 years of service. It is only befitting that one of her first hires, Mr. Thomas Fitzgerald III, takes the position of Interim Director.

Mr. Fitzgerald began his VA career as a Nursing Assistant at the North Chicago VA Medical Center in 1988, showing a dedication that carried him through numerous positions of leadership.

He came to VA Palo Alto to serve as Chief of Environmental Management Service, Assistant Director, and the Associate Director before he became Deputy Director in 2013.

His leadership has proven integral in shaping the success of VA Palo Alto, overseeing more than 6,300 staff and volunteers, as well as helping to implement the Service Improvement Model (SIM).

This model is a new way of managing the health care system, using lean methodology to allow all employees to take part in improvement projects that streamline processes within the health care system and provide better quality care for our Veterans.

Being a service-connected Veteran who served 16 years in the U.S. Army, Mr. Fitzgerald not only carries out the VA’s mission but also has direct experience as he receives his healthcare at VA Palo Alto.

He has championed many events to bridge gaps within the community to ensure care for our Veterans, including Marine and Army musters, which creates a seamless transition for service members leaving the military to enroll in VA care.

Now, Mr. Fitzgerald takes the helm during a critical time as VA works to create better solutions that increase access to care for Veterans.

Leading these innovative efforts, VA Palo Alto is piloting a new partnership with the CVS MinuteClinic to increase access for Bay Area Veterans. A first in VA, this initiative allows Veterans to receive care at participating local CVS pharmacy locations.

During his time as interim director, Mr. Fitzgerald is dedicated to continuing the process improvement journey as well as encouraging the innovative ideas for which VA Palo Alto Health Care System is known.

Find his full bio on the VA Palo Alto website.