(1)There is in the Department an Under Secretary for Health, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
(2)The Under Secretary for Health shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or activity and solely—
(A)on the basis of demonstrated ability in the medical profession, in health-care administration and policy formulation, or in health-care fiscal management; and
(B)on the basis of substantial experience in connection with the programs of the Veterans Health Administration or programs of similar content and scope.
(b)The Under Secretary for Health is the head of, and is directly responsible to the Secretary for the operation of, the Veterans Health Administration.
(1)Whenever a vacancy in the position of Under Secretary for Health occurs or is anticipated, the Secretary shall establish a commission to recommend individuals to the President for appointment to the position.
(2)A commission established under this subsection shall be composed of the following members appointed by the Secretary:
(A)Three persons representing clinical care and medical research and education activities affected by the Veterans Health Administration.
(B)Two persons representing veterans served by the Veterans Health Administration.
(C)Two persons who have experience in the management of veterans health services and research programs, or programs of similar content and scope.
(D)The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(E)The Chairman of the Special Medical Advisory Group established under section
7312 of this title.
(F)One person who has held the position of Under Secretary for Health (including service as Chief Medical Director of the Veterans’ Administration), if the Secretary determines that it is desirable for such person to be a member of the commission.
(3)A commission established under this subsection shall recommend at least three individuals for appointment to the position of Under Secretary for Health. The commission shall submit all recommendations to the Secretary. The Secretary shall forward the recommendations to the President with any comments the Secretary considers appropriate. Thereafter, the President may request the commission to recommend additional individuals for appointment.
(4)The Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs who performs personnel management and labor relations functions shall serve as the executive secretary of a commission established under this subsection.
Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 3(b) ofPub. L. 100–527, known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–83, § 3(3).
2006—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 109–461redesignated subsec. (d) as (c) and struck out former subsec. (c) which read as follows: “The Under Secretary for Health shall be appointed for a period of four years, with reappointment permissible for successive like periods. If the President removes the Under Secretary for Health before the completion of the term for which the Under Secretary for Health was appointed, the President shall communicate the reasons for the removal to Congress.”
2004—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 108–422, § 503(1), struck out “shall be a doctor of medicine and” after “The Under Secretary for Health” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 108–422, § 503(2), substituted “or in health-care” for “and in health-care”.
1994—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 103–446, § 1201(c)(1)(A), substituted “an Under Secretary” for “a Under Secretary”.
Subsec. (d)(2)(F). Pub. L. 103–446, § 1201(c)(1)(B), (e)(2), substituted “Chief Medical Director of the Veterans’ Administration)” for “Under Secretary for Health of the Department)” and “commission” for “Commission”.
1992—Pub. L. 102–405substituted “Under Secretary for Health” for “Chief Medical Director” wherever appearing.
1991—Subsec. (d)(2)(F). Pub. L. 102–83, § 4(a)(3), (4), substituted “Department” for “Veterans’ Administration”.
Change of Name
Pub. L. 102–405, title III, § 302(a),Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1984, provided that: “The position of Chief Medical Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs is hereby redesignated as Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
Pub. L. 102–405, title III, § 302(e),Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1985, provided that: “Any reference in any Federal law, Executive order, rule, regulation, or delegation of authority, or any document of or pertaining to the Department of Veterans Affairs—
“(1) to the Chief Medical Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs shall be deemed to refer to the Under Secretary for Health of the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
“(2) to the Chief Benefits Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs shall be deemed to refer to the Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
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