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Shereef Elnahal Receives Senate Confirmation as VA Undersecretary for Health

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Dr. Shereef Elnahal, former president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, has received confirmation from the Senate to serve as undersecretary for health in the Veterans Health Administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said in a statement published Thursday Elnahal brings extensive experience leading health care systems and agencies in his new role.

Elnahal takes over from Dr. Steve Lieberman, who has served as the VA undersecretary for health on an acting basis since July 2021.

Prior to taking the helm at University Hospital in 2019, Elnahal was New Jersey’s 21st health commissioner. He also served in the VA as assistant deputy undersecretary for health for quality, safety and value from 2016 through 2018.

Elnahal is the co-founder of the VHA Innovation Ecosystem, a program aimed at improving veteran care innovations and best practices.

“Now more than ever, the Department needs permanent, qualified leadership to guide the nation’s largest integrated health care system in the right direction. I look forward to working with him in his new role to implement needed reforms to ensure veterans have access to the timely health care and services they’ve earned,” Tester said.