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After 14 months, VA names new head for LA healthcare system

The Department of Veterans Affairs' West Los Angeles Medical Center.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' West Los Angeles Medical Center.
Dept. of Veterans Affairs

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Ann R. Brown has been named by the Department of Veterans Affairs as the new permanent director of the troubled Greater Los Angeles Veterans Healthcare System.

She is expected to start work in February.

Brown, who is expected to travel to L.A. this week along with VA Secretary Bob McDonald, will be based out of the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital — located on the 388-acre site in Westwood that has been the subject of a federal lawsuit for mismanagement.

The Greater Los Angeles regional system has had four interim directors since Donna Beiter left under pressure in December 2014.

Beiter was a named defendant in the Valentini v. Shinseki case, which alleged misuse of the 388-acre Westwood site. That case was settled in January 2015 by VA Director Eric Shinseki's replacement, Bob McDonald, who promised to enact reforms.

Brown comes to Los Angeles from Chicago, where she has been the director of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center since October 2013.

Brown declined KPCC's interview request through a VA spokesman. 

Since 2008, she has lead successively larger VA healthcare systems in multiple locations across the United States.

Prior to her assignment in Chicago,  Brown was director of the VA Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia. 

In Los Angeles, Brown's responsibilities cover two major ambulatory care centers, a tertiary care facility and nine community-based outpatient clinics, serving more than 88,000 veterans. The operating budget of the facilities under her purview is nearly $1 billion.