Gennaro, 35, a Parma, Ohio native, has seen plenty of opportunities to reshape VA operations during his 16 years at the national healthcare system for veterans and their families. But it's been complex construction projects that have put Gennaro's leadership and communication skills on display.
In his current job as director of the VA Butler Healthcare system north of Pittsburgh, he's overseen the opening of a new nursing home and a modernized residential facility for homeless, drug-addicted and mentally ill veterans known in the military system as a “domiciliary.” Rather than raze the old domiciliary on the Butler campus, the VA let a local housing authority rehab it as residential shelter.
For his accomplishments, Gennaro won a place in Modern Healthcare's 2013 class of Up and Comers.
“That is the kind of community engagement where you are not only helping lead the VA, but you are helping the community,” says Michael Moreland, network director of the 10 VA medical centers in the Eastern and Midwestern states known as Veterans Integrated Service Network 4. “That has been done while running an outpatient clinical organization that does a couple hundred thousand outpatient visits a year.”
VA Butler, located in veteran-rich Pennsylvania, handles 170,000 outpatient visits per year in its clinics and 18,000 inpatients—a task that Gennaro doesn't take lightly.
“I can't think of a better mission than to care for those who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms,” he says. “We are not focused on profits or anything else. We are focused on outcomes and the quality of the care for the veterans we serve.”