Dr. Stephen Ondra, a Desert Storm veteran and former U.S. Veterans Affairs Department senior policy adviser for health affairs, has been named senior vice president and chief medical officer for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The appointment, effective April 16, marks a return to Northwestern for Ondra, who practiced there as a neurosurgeon from 1996 to 2009.
In addition to his role at the VA, Ondra, 55, also previously served as co-chair of health information technology in President Barack Obama's office of science and technology policy.
He replaces Dr. Charles Watts, who retired in December 2010.
While in Washington, Ondra maintained his appointment as a professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, according to a Northwestern news release. In his previous stint at Northwestern, Ondra directed the neurosurgery department's residency program and, according to his biography on the VA's website (PDF), he also chaired the hospital's medical device and technology committee.