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VA Heart of Texas Healthcare Network


Leadership Team

Meet the VA Heart of Texas Healthcare Network leadership team:

Wendell Jones, MD, MBA, Network Director

Wendell Jones, MD, MBA | 817-652-1111

Network Director

Dr. Wendell Jones is the Network Director at the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) No. 17 in Arlington. He directs all clinical activities at seven VA healthcare facilities in Texas. Dr. Jones received his Bachelor of Science from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and his Medical Degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. He worked as a staff physician at the Miami VA Medical Center and as an Emergency Care physician at two hospitals in Miami. Dr. Jones was awarded an Executive Master’s in Business Administration by the University of Miami. Dr. Jones served as the Associate Chief of Staff for Ambulatory Care at the Amarillo VA Medical Center in Amarillo, while holding a staff position at Texas Tech School of Medicine. Dr. Jones was also Associate Chief of Staff for Ambulatory Care at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and was on staff at UT Health Science Center San Antonio. He also served as the Acting Chief of Staff. Presently, Dr. Jones holds the position of Assistant Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. In addition, he has served as the Acting Network Director in VISN 17 for various times, including approximately one year in 2015. He is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and is a Certified Physician Executive with the American Association of Physician Leadership. He served as the Internal Medicine section Chair with the National Medical Association and remains on the executive board. He also held the position of the Secretary/Treasurer for the Texas Academy of Internal Medicine Services. He also is on the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council.

Jamie Park, Ed.D., Deputy Network Director

Jamie Park, Ed.D. | 817-652-1111

Deputy Network Director

Dr. Jamie Park joined VISN 17 as the Deputy Network Director in April 2021. Dr. Park has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish with a double minor in English and English as a Second Language from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. She completed both a Masters Degree (M.Ed.) and a Doctorate (Ed.D.) from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX with a concentration in Higher Education. Dr. Park spent several years as an administrator in higher education institutions before joining the VA. Dr. Park began her VA career in 2008 when she joined the West Texas VA Health Care System in Big Spring, TX as the Chief of Education. While in West Texas, Dr. Park also served as the Executive Assistant to the Medical Center Director and as acting Associate Director. Dr. Park joined the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System in 2013 as the Executive Assistant to the Medical Center Director before joining VISN 17 in 2015 as the Executive Assistant to the Network Director. In 2018, Dr. Park moved to El Paso, TX where she served as the Associate Director of the El Paso VA Health Care Center for three years. Dr. Park has served as faculty for VISN level Leadership Development Institute, completed VHA’s Health Care Leadership Candidate Development Program in 2013 and the Excellence in Government Fellows Program in 2020.

Stephen Holt, MD, MPH, MSNRS, Chief Medical Officer

Stephen Holt, MD, MPH, MSNRS | 817-652-1111

Chief Medical Officer

Stephen Holt was appointed as Chief Medical Officer for the VA Heart of Texas Healthcare Network (VISN 17), Arlington, Texas, on Oct. 23, 2022. During his VA career, Holt, a retired Air Force colonel, has worked as the acting VISN 17 chief medical officer for clinical services at VA North Texas Healthcare System in Dallas, Texas; the assistant chief of staff for education at VA Central Texas Healthcare System in Temple, Texas; the deputy chief of staff at the North Texas VA; the VISN 7 chief medical officer in Duluth, Georgia; and the executive medical center director at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in Chicago. Prior to his current appointment, Holt served as the executive medical center director at VA North Texas. Board certified in aerospace medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, Holt also served as the aerospace medicine consultant to the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, overseeing 3,500 personnel at 77 worldwide locations. Previously board certified in occupational and environmental medicine, he was the residency director and the graduate education chair for the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Occupational Medicine Residency. Recognized as the 2011 VA Employee of the Year, Holt holds a medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Services, a master’s degree in Public Health, and master’s in National Resource Strategy. VISN (Veterans Integrated Service Network) 17 encompasses most of the state of Texas - approximately 240,000 square miles - and has administrative offices in Arlington and San Antonio. Currently, VISN 17 oversees seven medical centers located in Dallas, Temple, Big Spring, Amarillo, El Paso, San Antonio, and Harlingen.

Valerie Rodriguez-Yu, DNP, RN, NEA-BN, CENP, Chief Nursing Officer

Valerie Rodriguez-Yu, DNP, RN, NEA-BN, CENP | 817-652-1111

Chief Nursing Officer

Doctor Valerie Rodriguez-Yu was appointed as the Chief Nursing Officer for VA Heart of Texas Healthcare Network effective February 25, 2024. As CNO, Dr. Rodriguez-Yu makes recommendations regarding the development of goals, objectives, and policies involving nursing practice for more than 9,000 nursing personnel within VISN 17. She consistently leads to ensure continuous, timely availability of quality nursing and clinical services. In 2010, Dr. Rodriguez-Yu developed the foundation for the Veterans Affairs Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, one of only five in the country designed to provide intensive rehabilitative care to Veterans and Service Members who experienced severe injuries. Subsequently, she was appointed to the executive leadership team at South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS). During her tenure, she led the cultural transformation to support a positive practice environment for nurses. Dr. Rodriguez-Yu’s visionary leadership as Associate Director for Patient Care Services resulted in designation as a Pathway to Excellence® organization by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. STVHCS was the first VA medical center in Texas to earn this prestigious designation. In 2023, Dr. Rodriguez-Yu again steered STVHCS to become the first level 1A system in VA to secure a second designation. Dr. Rodriguez-Yu earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix and holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Executive Nurse Leadership from Baylor University. As part of her professional progression, Dr. Rodriguez-Yu is board certified as Nurse Executive-Advanced (NEA-BC) and achieved certification in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) by the American Organization for Nursing Leadership. She is also a graduate of Veterans Health Administration's Health Care Leadership Development Program and is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Leaders, American Nurses Association, and Texas Nurses Association.

Rajani Potu, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Rajani Potu, MD | 817-652-1111

Deputy Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Potu was officially appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer of VISN 17 effective July 3, 2022. Dr. Potu has sound leadership qualities and proven experience in the vast clinical landscape. Since April 2021, she served as Director for the VISN Clinical Contact Center to include nine months Deputy CMO and CRH Director in interim capacity. Dr. Potu also served three years as the Associate Chief of Staff for Ambulatory Care at VA North Texas Health Care System. She began her VA career in 2007 at Houston VA and assumed progressively complex assignments at the local and regional levels. Prior to joining VA North Texas, she was the CBOC executive providing oversight to Houston’s nine Community based Out Patient clinics. Dr. Potu completed her medical degree in 1995 from Christian Medical College, Vellore in India. A physician who specializes in Internal Medicine, she did her residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Illinois, Champaign Urbana, and completed a Fellowship in Geriatrics and Academic Medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. Dr. Potu holds a professional certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Denise B. Elliott, FACHE, LSSMBB, Quality Management Officer

Denise B. Elliott, FACHE, LSSMBB | 817-652-1111

Quality Management Officer

Mrs. Denise B. Elliott was appointed as the Quality Management Officer for the VA Heart of Texas Healthcare Network in January 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree (M.S.) in Neuroscience from Baylor University. Mrs. Elliott has over 25 years of healthcare experience within Department of Veterans Affairs. She holds a board certification in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.