Leadership Team - Northern Arizona VA Health Care System
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Northern Arizona VA Health Care System


Leadership Team

Jean J. Gurga, MA, OTR/L, Medical Center Director

Jean J. Gurga, MA, OTR/L | 928-445-4860 Ext. 6552

Medical Center Director

Ms. Jean Gurga was appointed Medical Center Director at Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) effective on August 3, 2020. Ms. Gurga has over 23 years of VA health care experience in Quality, Ambulatory Care, and Occupational Therapy. Since December 2017, she has served as the Associate Director at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System overseeing facility operations for Engineering, Fiscal, Health Administration, Human Resources, and Supply Chain. She also serves as the executive in charge for Information Technology and Contracting services for the facility. Ms. Gurga previously served as the Chief, Office of Quality, Safety & Value (QSV) at VA Palo Alto Health Care System. In that role, she was responsible for leading the operations and strategic direction for QSV with programmatic responsibilities for quality & safety, infection prevention & control, patient experience, process improvement, and the office of education. In addition, Ms. Gurga worked closely with executive leadership in building Palo Alto’s continuous improvement infrastructure and the deployment of their Lean management system. For several years, she coached and facilitated improvement projects at the local, network, and national level. Ms. Gurga formerly served as the Assistant Chief of Ambulatory Care Service and was as an occupational therapist for ten years with her last clinical position being Chief of Occupational Therapy at Palo Alto. Ms. Gurga is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives. She holds a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University - Boston School of Occupational Therapy and an undergraduate degree in Business Economics from Mills College. In 2017, Ms. Gurga graduated from VHA’s Health Care Leadership Development Program and in 2011 she graduated from the Partnership for Public Service's Excellence in Government Fellows Program.

A. Panneer Selvam, MD, Chief of Staff

A. Panneer Selvam, MD | 928-445-4860 Ext. 6009

Chief of Staff

Dr. A. Panneer Selvam was appointed as the Chief of Staff, Northern Arizona VA Health Care System, Prescott, Arizona, effective December 16, 2018. Dr. Selvam is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. He completed his medical degree at Stanley Medical College, Madras, India in 1987, and completed further post-graduate training in Internal Medicine in India, before moving to Ireland where he served as Senior House Officer, Internal Medicine at the Waterford Regional Hospital in Ireland from March 1994 through June 1995. He completed Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri in 1997. Dr. Selvam joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in July 1997 as a staff physician at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veteran’s Hospital, and has served the VA since. His previous leadership positions include as the Director of Primary Care at the Harry S. Truman Veterans’ Hospital, Columbia, MO, from 2001 to 2005, and as the Chief of Staff at the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System from 2005 to 2013. He is a 2007 graduate of the VA Health Care Leadership Institute. He served as a coach for the Health Care Leadership Institute (HCLI) in 2008-2009, and as a mentor for ECF (Executive Career Field) candidates in 2008-09, and 2009-10.

Steve Sample, Interim Associate Director

Steve Sample | 928-445-4860 Ext. 6553

Interim Associate Director

Steve Sample was appointed as the Interim Associate Director for the Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) on January 31, 2021. He has been serving as the Assistant Director at Southern Arizona VA Health Care System since January 2018. He provides direct oversight of business operations related to Logistics, Voluntary Services, Environmental Management, Veteran Experience, Public Affairs, Medical Media, System Redesign, Prosthetics, and is the facility liaison for Veteran Canteen Service, Information Security and Information and Technology Service Operations. He is a 2017 graduate of Leadership VA (LVA) and Health Care Leadership Development Program (HCLDP). Mr. Sample joined the VA as the Tucson VA Compliance Officer in 2007. He subsequently served as the team lead for the Office of Compliance and Business Integrity’s Consultation and Assessment Section under Quality, Safety and Value. Prior to his appointment to the Executive Leadership Team, he served as the Chief of Group Practice and Management Support Service encompassing patient access to care, strategic planning, executive decision support, systems redesign, VERA, managerial cost accounting, and data analytics. Prior to his tenure with the VA, Mr. Sample served in a variety of leadership positions. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 23. He was a command pilot and flew combat missions during Operations Desert Storm and was the deployed commander of a combat flying squadron during Operation Allied Force. Mr. Sample is a graduate of the Air War College and Air Command and Staff College.

Mary Pittman Mach, RN, MSN, Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

Mary Pittman Mach, RN, MSN | 928-445-4860 Ext. 6557

Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive

Ms. Pittman Mach was appointed the Associate Director of Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive on May 6, 2019. Mary is the new Nurse Executive/Associate Director Patient Care Services (ADPCS). Mary grew up in Fulda Minnesota, a small farming community in the southwest part of the state. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph MN) with her BSN in 1984 and her MSN from the University of Phoenix in 2012. In her 35-year nursing career, Mary’s worked in many settings. This includes Bone Marrow Transplant, Medical-Surgical, Surgical Intensive Care, Operating Room, Emergency Room, and Public Health Nursing. Mary’s leadership journey started 19 years ago and continues to be her passion. Mary comes to NAVAHCS from the St. Cloud, MN VA as the Nurse Administrator in the Surgical, Specialty Care Service Line. Mary’s been married to her husband Bob for 34 years (their 35th will be celebrated August 2019.) They have two children, Christopher and Chelsea. Christopher is a nurse anesthetist and Chelsea is a hospice nurse. Mary comes from a long line of nurses, including her mother, her sisters, her brother-in-law, her daughter- in law, niece and a nephew. Clearly a love of the profession runs in the family! Mary enjoys reading, hiking, music, and motorcycle rides with Bob. She also became a grandma in October, to a beautiful baby boy, Cameron. She’s happy to be at NAVAHCS!

Megan A. Babcock, MD, FACP, Deputy Chief of Staff

Megan A. Babcock, MD, FACP | 928-445-4860 Ext. 6009

Deputy Chief of Staff

Dr. Babcock was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff at Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) on January 31, 2021. Dr. Babcock is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and has 20 years’ experience in clinical practice, clinical administration and teaching. She is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She most recently served as the Associate Chief of Staff, Ambulatory Care Service at the New Mexico VA Health Care System. She joined VA service in 2009 as the section chief of the Women’s Comprehensive Care Center at the ABQ VA. She was promoted to ACOS, Ambulatory Care in 2014. During her tenure as ACOS, she graduated from the VA innovations and Improvement Academy completing three black belt projects in a year’s time. She has a special interest in clinical quality metrics, system redesign, and modernization of primary care practice. She is also a certified in colposcopy by the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. Dr. Babcock is an Associate Professor, University of New Mexico School of Medicine and precepts trainees, lectures and develops curriculum. She is a Veteran of the US Navy Reserves serving at Hospital Point, Annapolis, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda and the US Naval Hospital, Okinawa Japan. She was a preceptor to Japanese Interns while in Okinawa which was a most interesting clinical and cultural experience. Dr. Babcock graduated from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center-School of Medicine in 1997 with a faculty commendation in research. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency at the Virginia Commonwealth University-Medical College of Virginia in 2000. She has practiced in varied positions though out her career: working as a hospitalist, private practice, Navy Medicine, and as a staff physician for the Drug Enforcement Administration.