The acting under secretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs abruptly stepped aside on Monday, leaving the agency with yet another leadership void as VA officials prepare ambitious reforms for veterans medical benefits.
Poonam Alaigh, who had served in the post since February, said in a letter to staff that she is resigning from the job for family reasons.
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“I want you to know that it has been my greatest honor to serve (VA) Secretary (David) Shulkin, each one of you and all of our veterans,” she wrote. “As I prepare to now leave Washington, I thank you sincerely for what you have helped us to accomplish, moving from being the country’s largest integrated healthcare system into, truly, America’s greatest healthcare system.”
Alaigh had served in the post since Shulkin, the previous top health official, was nominated for the department’s top job in February. Carolyn Clancy, the deputy under secretary of health for organizational excellence who previously served as the acting top health official in 2015, will again step into the post, starting next month.