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VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System


Leadership Team

Portrait of Peggy Kearns

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.

Portrait of John L Stelsel

John L Stelsel | 702 791-9010

Acting Associate Director

Mr. John Stelsel was appointed as Acting Associate 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.

Portrait of April R Creed

April R Creed | 702-791-9010

Acting Assistant Director

April R. Creed is currently detailed as the Acting Assistant Director of Department of Veterans Affairs’ Southern Nevada Healthcare System. Currently participating in the Veterans Health Administration’s Executive Candidate Development Program, Ms. Creed has been with VA for five years and is a 2015 graduate of the VA Healthcare Leadership Development Program.
Ms. Creed began her VA career as Laboratory Manager at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in 2012. Prior to beginning her current acting assignment, she spent four years as the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System’s Laboratory Manager where she oversaw the establishment of both inpatient and outpatient Laboratory operations at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center when the facility opened in 2013. Ms. Creed began her medical career as a Medical Technologist in 1994 and has served in leadership roles throughout her medical and private sector career. Several noteworthy positions include the Chief Operating Officer of a holding company in Kiev, Ukraine and Chief Executive Officer of First Fidelity Title Company in Virginia. She is a doctoral candidate at University of Liverpool, a graduate of the Ken Blanchard Executive MBA program, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology from Salisbury University.

Portrait of Ramu Komanduri, M.D.

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.

Portrait of Jennifer Strawn

Jennifer Strawn | 702-791-9010

Associate Director Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

Jennifer Strawn, Nurse Executive, graduated from University of Michigan with a Masters of Science in Nursing with a focus on Business and Health Systems in 2006. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northern Illinois University in 1994. 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.

Ms. Strawn graduated from the VHA Healthcare Leadership Development Program in 2011 and completed the VHA Healthcare Executive Fellowship Program in 2013 at the Portland VA Medical Center.

Portrait of Milan S Parekh

Milan S Parekh | 702-791-9010

Deputy Chief of Staff

Dr. Milan Parekh is Deputy Chief of Staff of the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. Prior to his current role, he served as the system’s Chief of Medicine. A native of Southern California, Dr. Parekh received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at University of California, Riverside. He completed medical school and residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and is board certified physician in Family Medicine.

After completing his education, Dr. Parekh moved to Las Vegas where he practiced as an Urgent Care and Occupational Health physician for 10 years prior to joining the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in 2009. He began his VA career as a staff physician in compensation and pension and also served as Chief of Compensation and Pension.

Dr. Parekh has lived in 3 other countries and is fluent in 5 languages. His wife is also a physician practicing in the local community and they have two children.