Medical Center Director
Mr. Walmus was appointed director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in August 2009.
With the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) since 1981, Mr. Walmus serves as MEDVAMC's CEO charged with management of one of the most complex VA medical centers in the country with more than 3,700 employees and an annual budget of approximately $760 million. In addition to caring for more than 130,000 Veterans in southeast Texas, the MEDVAMC also serves as a regional and national referral center for many services including cardiac surgery, liver transplant, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, radiation therapy, and spinal cord injury.
His more than 30 years of federal service include VA positions 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 two master’s degrees, Health Care Administration from Tulane University and 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 society 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.
Deputy Medical Center Director
Prior to being appointed the Deputy Director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center on August 12, 2011, Mr. Bayley was the deputy network director of the South Central VA Health Care Network (VISN 16) and responsible for the daily operations of the Network.. VISN 16 covers a vast area of 170,000 square miles, serving Veterans in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Texas, Missouri, Alabama, and Florida.
Mr. Bayley has more than 35 years of federal service with a wide variety of progressive, demanding leadership experience. From 2004 to 2008, he served as the associate director of the Amarillo VA Health Care System in Texas. From 2002 to 2004, he was the chief information officer at the Kansas City VA Medical Center. During that tenure, he spent approximately six months as acting associate director for operations. From 2000 to 2002, he was a supervisory computer specialist at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix.
From 1988 to 2000, Mr. Bayley was a civilian employee of the U. S. Air Force and held positions as supervisory computer specialist, chief of industrial engineering, and chief of engineering resources at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. From 1976 until 1988, he served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. Bayley holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and a master’s degree in Health Administration. He is board certified as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Proud of his military service and the long history of service to country in his family, Mr. Bayley is a Vietnam Era veteran with almost 13 years in the U.S. Air Force. His grandfather served in both World War I and World War II. His father is a Korean War Marine Corps Veteran. The youngest of his three sons, Mark, has completed two combat tours in Iraq serving with the U.S. Army. Mr. Bayley is also the proud grandfather of three grandsons and one granddaughter.
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.
Associate Director for Patient Care Services
Thelma Gray-Becknell, R.N., M.S.N. was appointed associate director for patient care services for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in April 2006. Prior to this appointment, she was chief nurse executive at New Orleans VA Medical Center from 2001 to 2006.
In her position, 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 Houston medical facility and five community based outpatient clinics in southeast Texas.
The MEDVAMC was awarded Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2004 and re-designation in 2009. In addition, the facility was awarded the Robert W. Carey Organizational Excellence Award in 2005 and the Robert W. Carey Circle of Excellence Quality Award in 2007.
Ms. Gray-Becknell is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a fellow in American Leadership Forum, a member of the American Nurses Association, and a member of the American Association of Nurse Executives.
She received a bachelor's degree in nursing in 1967 from Dillard University in New Orleans and a Master of Science in nursing in 1995 from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. She is recipient of a gerontology certificate from the University of New Orleans in 1994.
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.