VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System
Peggy Kearns | 702-791-9010
Peggy W. Kearns, a member of the Senior Executive Service, is Director of Department of Veterans Affairs’ Southern Nevada Healthcare System. Ms. Kearns is responsible for a $464 million annual operating budget and the overall operations of a Medical Center, four large Primary Care Clinics; a Community Resource and Referral Center; a Veterans Recovery Center; an Outpatient Clinic in Pahrump, Nev.; and a Rural Outreach Clinic in Laughlin, Nev. The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System provides delivery of health care to more than 57,000 Veterans and ensures outpatient and inpatient services are available to more than 158,000 Veterans residing in an official catchment area of Clark, Lincoln and Nye counties.
Ms. Kearns began her career with the VA as a Dietetic Intern at the Hines (Ill.) VA Medical Center in 1983 and, prior to her current appointment, served as Director of the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, Mich. She has a Master’s Degree in Adult Health Education from Indiana University, a Master’s Degree in Organization and Management from Capella University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from Purdue University. Ms. Kearns is also board certified as a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives and a VA Certified Mentor.
With more than 2,200 staff and facilities in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Laughlin and Pahrump, the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System is an acute care teaching hospital, providing a full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research. Comprehensive health care is provided through primary care, secondary, and long-term care in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, oncology, dentistry, geriatrics, and extended care.
Tracy L Skala | 702-791-9010
Tracy Skala is the Associate Director of the Department Veterans Affairs’ Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS). In this role, she has oversight of Human Resources, Fiscal, Health Administration, Engineering and Logistics activities. Before her selection at VASNHS, Ms. Skala served as the Chief of Human Resources Officer for the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Bay Pines, Fla., from March 2015 to February 2018 and was also temporarily detailed to the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center as the Acting Associate Director.
Prior to joining VA, Ms. Skala held several executive leadership positions in private industry, including Chief Operating Officer for the State of Nebraska Psychiatric Health System and Director of the Neurosciences Institute and Special Diagnostic Center for the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
A Veteran with 20 years of combined service, Ms. Skala served 10 years in the U.S. Air Force as a Health Care Administration Technician and 10 years in the U.S. Navy as a Medical Service Corps officer. During her time in the military, Ms. Skala oversaw supervision and management of various health care-related activities, including resource management, patient administration, personnel and clinical services. She also served at the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Headquarters as the Navy lead for a Joint Task Force responsible for software development and deployment of a new Joint Medical Services resource management system to more than 170 DoD Medical Treatment Facilities.
Ms. Skala has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business – Healthcare Management from Wayland Baptist University, and a Master of Science degree in Education Leadership from Troy University. She is a graduate of the 2010 Leadership VA program and 2016 VHA Health Care Leadership Development Program. Ms. Skala is a member of American College of Healthcare Executives and the Society for Human Resources Management.
John L Stelsel | 702 791-9010
Mr. John Stelsel was appointed as Assistant Director, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) in September 2012.
Mr. Stelsel joined the VASNHS in July 2011 as Chief, Environmental Management Service. He has served at eight VA Medical Centers across the country. As a member of the Senior Executive Team, he is responsible for several administrative operations of the health care system. As such, Mr. Stelsel has oversight for a variety of services including Environmental Management, Police, Voluntary as well as liaison with Contracting, Canteen, Prosthetics and Information Technology.
In addition to his experience, he has served and/or acted in various roles over a 19-year VA career, including service chief of a broad range of administrative services. Mr. Stelsel holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Occupational Safety. He is a graduate of leadership programs including Health Care Leadership Institute (HCLI) and is a Fellow-Level Mentor in the national mentor certification program.
Ramu Komanduri, M.D. | 702-791-9010
Chief of Staff
Dr. Komanduri is the Chief of Staff at the VA Southern Nevada Health Care System. Prior to his current roles he served as the Unit Chief of the Addictive Disorders Treatment Program. Dr. Komanduri was born in India and raised in Chicago from the age of eleven. He studied medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine and completed an Honors thesis in Psychiatry. He completed a transitional internship at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Komanduri served as a resident and chief resident in Psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Komanduri is board certified in Psychiatry.
Dr. Komanduri has held various clinical and academic appointments. After residency he participated in various activities including solo private practice in Los Angeles. He also served on the clinical faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine. He has been actively involved in medical student and resident teaching. He has participated in multiple clinical research activities. His current academic appointment is Clinical Associate Professor at the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine. Dr. Komanduri engages in direct patient care and conducts clinical research. He is also involved in various patient and staff teaching activities.
Dr. Komanduri has been involved in various community activities including AIDS and cancer support groups. He currently participates in Tar Wars; a program designed to discourage youth from smoking. He has received multiple awards including congressional recognition for distinguished public service and the Leadership VA “Elmo” award.
Jennifer Strawn | 702-791-9010
Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive
The Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive (ADPCS/NE) is the top executive within nursing and is a key member of the executive leadership team of the organization, involved in strategic planning, organizational assessment, and program development. She is responsible the professional practice of 500 nursing staff at all VASNHC Facilities, as well as Nursing Professional Services, Transporters, PICC Team, Telehealth Services, Sterile Processing Services (SPS), Chaplain Services, and Social Work Services.
In 2018, the Competency and Credentialing Institute Center awarded VASNHS the TrueNorth® Award, the Perioperative Recognition program for Excellence in Perioperative Nursing. VASNHS is the first VA to receive this honor.
Prior to her assignment as Associate Director/Patient Care Services, she served as Chief of Quality Management at the VA Roseburg Healthcare System, Roseburg, Oregon, and as a staff nurse in Cardiology and the Thoracic Intensive Care Unit at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
She graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Doctor of Nurse Practice in 2017. In 2006, she completed her Masters of Science in Nursing with a focus on Business and Health Systems at the University of Michigan. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Illinois University in 1994.