Advancing the VA’s Community Care Mission: A conversation with Baligh Yehia, Deputy Under Secretary for Health

What is the mission of VA’s Office of Community Care? How is VA enhancing how it provides Community Care? What can VA do better? Join host Michael Keegan as h...

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The Business of Government Radio Hour, hosted by Michael J. Keegan, features a conversation with a federal executive who is changing the way government does business. The executives discuss their careers and the management challenges facing their organizations. Guests include administrators, chief financial officers, chief information officers, chief operating officers, commissioners, controllers, directors, and undersecretaries.


What is the mission of VA’s Office of Community Care? How is VA enhancing how it provides Community Care? What can VA do better? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions & more with Baligh Yehia, Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Community Care at the US Department of Veterans Affairs.


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Baligh-Yehia.jpgDr. Baligh Yehia is the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Community Care at the U.S. Department of Veterans

Affairs (VA), the nation’s largest integrated health care system caring for over 8.5 million Veterans at 1,700+ sites across the country. As Chief Executive of VA Community Care, Dr. Yehia leads VA in its transformational journey to provide Veterans with easy access to personalized care from a robust network of federal and private providers. Committed to improving the patient experience, Dr. Yehia drives initiatives focused on clinical integration, quality improvement, and system redesign.

Dr. Yehia oversees VA’s Community Care Network, which includes over 445,000 federal, academic, and private partners who deliver outpatient, inpatient, extended care, teleheath, and home care services to over 1.5 million Veterans annually. Over the course of his tenure, VA has expanded the number of network providers, increased access to community care, and introduced new programs emphasizing quality improvement and clinical integration. In addition, Dr. Yehia directs VA’s revenue operations, which generate over $3 billion in revenue to care for Veterans annually, and VA’s family and dependent programs, which serve over 350,000 beneficiaries each year.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Yehia served as Senior Advisor on Health to the Secretary, where he provided leadership on strategies related to the health and wellbeing of Veterans and improving performance at VA’s 1,700+ healthcare facilities, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and readjustment counseling centers. He spearheaded the Department’s involvement in key federal and private sector efforts focused on health, including implementation of health delivery system reform.

A nationally recognized expert in HIV medicine and health equality, Dr. Yehia has published over 150 articles, abstracts, chapters, and white papers in leading journals. He has made important contributions to the understanding of patient engagement in healthcare, and individual and environmental factors influencing access to and participation in care.

Dr. Yehia is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare delivery, and has served in top leadership positions on numerous boards and councils. Currently, he represents VA on the Board of Directors of the Center for Medical Interoperability, a cooperative research and development lab founded by health systems to simplify and advance data sharing among medical technologies and systems. He is a former member of the American College of Physicians Board of Regents, the American Medical Association Council on Medical Education, and the Maryland State Medical Society Board of Trustees. In addition, he is a past Chair of the American Medical Association Resident and Fellow Section, the nation’s largest association of resident and fellow physicians.

Nationally recognized as a leader in healthcare, Dr. Yehia has received the John D. Chase Award for Executive Excellence, Walter J. McDonald Award for Outstanding Achievement from the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association Foundation Leadership Award, Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Microbiology, Robert Austrian Award in Infectious Diseases from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from his alma mater.

Dr. Yehia is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He received his bachelor and medical degrees from the University of Florida, completed internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and infectious diseases fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a Masters in Public Policy from Princeton University and Masters of Science in Health Policy Research from the University of Pennsylvania. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Senior Fellow at the Penn Center for Public Health Initiatives, and Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

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