Michael Kussman, M.D., one of the Veterans Affairs Departments most visible healthcare leaders, said he would retire May 9 after almost four decades in government service.
Kussman, who had come under fire by federal lawmakers over how the agency diagnoses and treats veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and growing suicide rates among the VAs patient population, has been with the department since 2000. He was named under secretary of health in 2007.
Ive appreciated the tremendous opportunity VA has given me to continue to serve those with whom I served while in uniform, Kussman said in a written statement.
An internist who reached the rank of brigadier general while in the Army, Kussman oversaw the nations largest healthcare system, with an annual budget of $40.2 billion, more than 231,000 employees and about 1,400 different locations. More than 5.6 million veterans seek care annually at VA facilities.