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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Leadership Team

Portrait of Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E.

Adam C. Walmus, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E. | (713) 794-7931

Medical Center Director

Mr. Walmus was appointed director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in August 2009.

Mr. Walmus serves as the MEDVAMC's CEO, charged with management and leadership of one of the most complex and efficient VA medical centers in the country. He effectively leads more than 4400 employees with a budget of approximately $950 million as they proudly care for an ever-growing number of men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Mr. Walmus' long and distinguished VA career includes positions of increasing responsibility at VA Medical Centers in Houston, Muskogee, Dublin, Georgia, and New Orleans as well as a Department of Health & Human Services position in the Washington, DC area.

Mr. Walmus has a bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He holds Master of Science degrees in Health Care Administration from Tulane University and in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan.

Elected to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Council of Regents in March 2013, he is the VA Regent and received ACHE Regent's Senior Executive Award in March 2011. He is a member of the graduate advisory board at University of Houston-Clear Lake and Texas A&M's Master in Healthcare Administration Program. In 2012 he was selected to serve as chairman of the Houston Federal Executive Board.

Mr. Walmus was recognized by the VA Secretary with the VA Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2010 and the Alternative Dispute Resolution and Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award in 2011. In 2011 he received an honorary membership to the West Point Society of Greater Houston and was given the title of Honorary Colonel with the U.S. Army's 75th Mission Command Training Division. In 2014, in recognition of his efforts in support of quality patient care, education and research, Mr. Walmus was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities in Medicine Degree from the Baylor College of Medicine.

Portrait of Karandeep Sraon, MBBS, MBA, FACHE

Karandeep Sraon, MBBS, MBA, FACHE | 713-794-8923

Deputy Medical Center Director

Karandeep Sraon was appointed Deputy Director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in May 2016. Sraon, who is also known as Kenny, has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs since 2004 and has a track record of progressive professional development and career growth spanning field management experience, operations support, and program management.

At MEDVAMC, Sraon is responsible for administrative operations, including: Facilities Management, Nutrition and Food Service, Environmental Management, Communications, Privacy, Emergency Preparedness, Police, and Compliance and Business Integrity.

Prior to his appointment in Houston, Texas, Sraon was the Assistant Director of the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital just outside of Chicago, Illinois, where he was responsible for resources and operations for over 600 staff with a personnel services budget of $37.2 million. Throughout his career he has embraced leadership opportunities outside of his assigned roles. He has previously served as the Acting Associate Director of Hines VA Hospital as well as the Acting Assistant Director at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.

In addition to his field based experience, he has gained operational knowledge at the higher levels of the Department of Veterans Affairs. In VA Great Lakes Health Care Network he served as the Business Implementation Manager and in VA Central Office in Washington, DC he was a Health Systems Specialist in the VHA Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management.

Sraon graduated with a medical degree from Dayanand Medical College in Ludhiana, Punjab, India and is a non-practicing physician who transitioned to a career in healthcare administration by earning a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Business. Sraon is a board certified healthcare executive and fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives.

Portrait of J. Kalavar, M.D.

J. Kalavar, M.D. | (713) 794-7011

Chief of Staff

Dr. Kalavar was appointed chief of staff of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in March 2009. Dr. Kalavar serves as the MEDVAMC's senior medical officer responsible for all clinical programs at the medical facility in Houston and its Community-Based Outpatient Clinics.

Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Kalavar received his medical degree from Madras University in Madras, India in 1979. He completed his internship and post graduate training in India and performed his residency at Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Dr. Kalavar is an associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and a member of the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Kalavar started his VA career as a staff physician in 1991 at Colmery O'Neil VA Medical Center in Topeka, Kansas. He was appointed director of Primary Care Service Line in 1998 and selected as director of the Primary Care Service Line for Eastern Kansas Health Care System in 2000. He joined MEDVAMC in 2001 as the Primary Care Director and served as Chief of General Medicine from 2006 to 2009. In this capacity, he was responsible for one of the largest primary care programs within the VA health care system.

As the Director of the MEDVAMC Patient Reception Team (PRT), Dr. Kalavar coordinated the movement of supplies, equipment, and personnel to Ellington Field in 2005 to respond to Hurricane Katrina. The PRT medically triaged almost 800 patients from 21 flights in the next five days. The patients, ranging from four-months old to the elderly, suffered from dehydration, fatigue, and a variety of medical conditions. In two weeks, the MEDVAMC admitted more than 100 patients from the hurricane-affected areas.

Dr. Kalavar is the recipient of the Houston Federal Executive Board 2006 Excellence in Government Award and was recognized in 2011 as a Patriotic Employer by the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Portrait of James Scheurich, M.D.

James Scheurich, M.D. | 713-794-7436

Medical Center Deputy Chief of Staff

Dr. Scheurich was appointed deputy chief of staff of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center on July 2, 2000. In this capacity, he serves as a senior clinician in this tertiary care medical center. Dr. Scheurich is also an assistant professor of medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Scheurich is a graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas (M.D., 1979), a member of the American College of Physicians (1987), and a member of the Society of General Internal Medicine (1987). He obtained clinical and research training in internal medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Dr. Scheurich is board certified in internal medicine.

Dr. Scheurich served as special assistant to the chief of staff for quality management at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, and then became associate chief of staff for quality management at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

He serves as Telecare medical director and chairperson for numerous clinical committees at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Dr. Scheurich is a member of the Internal Medicine Level I Residency Selection Committee at Baylor College of Medicine. He is a faculty member of Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication and a certified trainer. Dr. Scheurich is the author or co-author of several articles in peer reviewed journals.

Dr. Scheurich received the VISN #16 Clinical Excellence in Business Practice Award on August 11, 2004. This award, presented annually, recognizes clinicians in the Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN) #16 for special or consistent efforts to generate revenues or to help save costs in the provision of health care to Veterans while maintaining quality service. He also received the Director's Award for Professional Leadership in 1992.

Portrait of Christopher R. Sandles, MBA, FACHE

Christopher R. Sandles, MBA, FACHE | 713-794-7531

Associate Director

Christopher R. Sandles, was appointed Associate Director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in April 2014. With The Department of Veterans Affairs since 2003, Mr. Sandles serves as MEDVAMC's Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for Finance, Human Resources, Business Office, Logistics, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Health Information Management, Telecare and Clinical Application Coordinators. His years of service include positions as Assistant Director of VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Chief of Health Administration Service at VA Loma Linda Health Care System, Assistant Chief of Medical Administration at VA North Texas Health Care System, Special Assistant to the Director-VA North Texas Health Care System, and Administrative Director for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Mr. Sandles began his healthcare career in 2002 at Covenant Health System in Lubbock, TX. In 2003 he was accepted into the Government Health Administration Training Program (GHATP) and served his post graduate fellowship with VA North Texas Healthcare System. Mr. Sandles received both his Bachelor's degree in Business and his Masters of Healthcare Administration from Texas Tech University, where he served as President of the Forum Chapter of Mortar Board, and was a sitting member of national council.

Mr. Sandles also holds a green belt certification in six-sigma from Villanova University and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Portrait of Kelly A Irving

Kelly A Irving | 713-794-7475

Associate Director Patient Care Services

Kelly Irving, MSN, RN, is the MEDVAMC Associate Director, Patient Care Services (ADPCS). Ms. Irving has more than 20 years of nursing experience, including 17 years in important nursing leadership positions. As ADPCS, she serves as a key member of the medical center senior management team; providing leadership and expert knowledge for the VA's state-of-the-art medical facility and nine community based outpatient clinics in southeast Texas.

Ms. Irving has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs since March 2005 and has been at MEDVAMC since 2009. She has served as a Skin Risk Nurse Manager, Associate Chief Nurse of Operations and most recently as the Deputy Associate Director for Patient Care Services.

"I am looking forward to continuing to work with the dedicated professionals at the Houston VA and to the challenge of taking on this new position," Irving said. "I am proud of the top quality patient care that is provided to Veterans every day at this Medical Center."

Irving is also especially proud of MEDVAMC's second redesignation of Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services that was awarded in February of this year. "I am continually amazed at what the staff here at this Medical Center can accomplish when we put our minds to it," she said. "We are the first VA in the system to receive a second redesignation of magnet status. That is something of which we can all be extremely proud."

Ms. Irving received her BSN from Our Lady of Holy Cross College in May of 1993 and then received a MSN from the University of Phoenix in September of 1998. Additionally, she received an Enterostomal Therapy Certificate from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1997. Ms. Irving is also a graduate of VISN 16 Leadership Development Institute (LDI) and Advanced LDI.