VA announces new associate director, chief of staff

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 14, 2013

Linette L. Baker, MPA, was appointed as the associate director at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center, effective April 8.
Most recently, Baker served as the chief, human resources service at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. Previously, Baker was the chief, health administration service from February 2009 through May 2011. Prior to her assignment in San Diego, Baker served in several roles at the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., from 2004–2009, culminating in her selection as the assistant chief, health administration service in 2008. She also worked as program specialist to the Veterans Benefits Administration Western Area Director from 2002–2004. She has served on several national committees in the Chief Business Office related to beneficiary travel. Baker is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving for 24 years prior to her retirement in 2002. Her assignments include the 86th Dental Squadron Superintendent at Ramstein AB, Germany, 86th Medical Group Quality Adviser, Kadena AB, Japan and C-141 Loadmaster Technical Training Instructor at Altus AFB, Okla. She was also deployed during Operation Desert Storm.
Baker holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor of vocational education degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
She is a graduate of VHA Health Care Leadership and Development Program. She received several military awards during her Air Force career, to include the Meritorious Service Medal, AF Commendation Medals, Combat Readiness medal and the AF Achievement Medals. She was also the Pacific Air Forces Senior NCO of the Year, Air Mobility Command NCO of the Year and the USAF Academy Airman of the Year.
The Hefner VA has also announced the appointment of Dr. Subbarao Pemmaraju (Raju) to chief of staff on June 2. He has been with the Department of Veterans Affairs since September 2004.
Raju received his M.D. degree in India, completed family medicine residency training at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago, Ill., followed by a fellowship in geriatric medicine at Sacred Heart Hospital, Allentown, Pa. He is board certified in family medicine, geriatrics and hospice and palliative care. His prior positions include serving as the chief of geriatrics at Fayetteville VA Medical Center, chief of geriatrics and extended care and deputy chief of staff ambulatory care services, WJB Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, S.C.
Raju also completed a master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a 2011 graduate of HCLDP (Health Care Leadership Development Program, formally known as Executive Career Field program) and is a participant in the 2012-2013 Leadership VA (LVA) program.
He is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and enjoys teaching resident physicians and fellows. His areas of interest include working and implementing new, innovative models of healthcare, and he enjoys taking care of the elderly veterans across multiple settings, including outpatient, community living center and hospice care. He has been successful in applying for and obtaining funding for many healthcare grants to start new programs and expand existing programs. He enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, playing soccer and cricket.