Leadership Team - VA Pacific Islands Health Care System
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VA Pacific Islands Health Care System


Leadership Team

Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, Director

Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD


Dr. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD, MBA, FACS, FASCRS, CPE, was appointed Director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System effective August 15, 2020. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Director for the VA Maryland Health Care System. Dr. Robinson has over 30 years of experience as a senior leader in the United States Military Healthcare System, culminating in his selection as the 36th Surgeon General of the United States Navy. The Surgeon General is the Chief Executive Officer for Navy and Marine Corps healthcare systems and serves as the primary advisor on all health care issues and policies for the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. As the Surgeon General, Dr. Robinson served as the principle Tricare Health Plan representative for active duty Sailors and Marines, their families, and Navy and Marine Corps retirees and their families, numbering over 2.5 million people. Dr. Robinson led a team of 63,000 Navy Medicine personnel in over 220 healthcare facilities located worldwide with an annual budget of $3.5 billion. This included three tertiary care medical centers located in geographically diverse parts of the United States that provided the single largest source of residency trained healthcare providers for the Navy medical department. After retiring from the United States Navy as a Vice Admiral, Dr. Robinson served as the Medical Director and Staff Physician of Conmed Healthcare Management in Montgomery County, Maryland. Dr. Robinson received his Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana, and completed his Residency in General Surgery at the National Naval Medical Center and Fellowship in Colon-Rectal Surgery at the Carle Foundation Hospital and the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Urbana, Illinois. Dr. Robinson also has a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. The author of numerous publications, Dr. Robinson holds fellowships in the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery. He is a Certified Physician Executive from the American College of Physician Executives. Dr. Robinson’s personal decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (three awards), Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various service and campaign awards.

John L Stelsel, Acting Associate Director

John L Stelsel

Acting Associate Director

John Stelsel was appointed Acting Associate Director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System March 2021. Prior to being appointed Acting Associate Director, John served as Assistant Director, VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) in September 2012. Mr. Stelsel joined the VASNHS in July 2011 as Chief, Environmental Management Service. He has served at eight VA Medical Centers across the country. As a member of the Senior Executive Team, he is responsible for several administrative operations of the health care system. As such, Mr. Stelsel has oversight for a variety of services including Environmental Management, Police, Voluntary as well as liaison with Contracting, Canteen, Prosthetics and Information Technology. In addition to his experience, he has served and/or acted in various roles over a 19-year VA career, including service chief of a broad range of administrative services. Mr. Stelsel holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Occupational Safety. He is a graduate of leadership programs including Health Care Leadership Institute (HCLI) and is a Fellow-Level Mentor in the national mentor certification program.

David M. Bernstein, M.D., Acting Chief of Staff

David M. Bernstein, M.D.

Acting Chief of Staff

Dr. Bernstein was appointed Acting Chief of Staff of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System on January 4, 2021. He received his medical degree in 1987 from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, and completed internship and residency in psychiatry at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine in 1991, and served as Chief Resident. He received Board Certification in Psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1993, and subspecialty certification and recertification in Geriatric Psychiatry in 1996 and 2006. Dr. Bernstein has been a psychiatrist at the VA Pacific Islands Health Care system since 1991 in a variety of roles, and has been Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health since 2001. He holds an academic appointment as Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry from the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. Dr. Bernstein has published in the area of cultural psychiatry.

Prashanth S. Navaran M.D. FACS, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff

Prashanth S. Navaran M.D. FACS

Acting Deputy Chief of Staff

Dr. Prashanth Navaran is acting deputy chief of staff of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System. He is here on a detail from the VA Central California Health Care System where he is the Chief of Surgery. Dr. Navaran provides direct oversight of the Pharmacy, Telehealth, Clinical Informatics, Care in the Community services, and of the Group Practice Manager. He also acts as a clinical resource for Specialty Services. Dr. Navaran is a General Surgeon with subspecialty training in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery. He was a surgeon in the United States Navy Medical Corps, and served for 8 years on active duty, and was deployed with the United States Marine Corps in support of OIF and OEF. He also served on Fleet Surgical teams on sea duty. After his military service, Dr. Navaran has served with the Veteran’s administration in Central California as a General Surgeon for the past 8 years to include as Chief of Surgery and as Chief of Internal Operations, Incident Command, COVID-19 response.

Kim Hall, MSN, RN, VHA-CM, Nurse Executive

Kim Hall, MSN, RN, VHA-CM

Nurse Executive

Ms. Kim Hall, MSN, RN, VHA-CM, was appointed Associate Director for Patient Care Services March 23rd 2020. Prior to this assignment she was the Deputy Nurse Executive (DNE)/ ADPCS in Northern California VA HCS. Ms. Hall received her Master of Science in Nursing from University of Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas. Her background includes, intensive care, emergency room and outpatient clinics, Deputy ADPCS and Chief Nurse of both inpatient, ambulatory OR and outpatient operations. She was also the VISN Lead for Primary Care Transformation, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, and Veterans Health Education, and Patient Centered Care. She has extensive clinical background in ED, GEC, Post-Op Units, ICU and PACT Transformation. Her accomplishments include: induction into Sigma Theta Tau Delta Alpha Chapter, Nurse of the year, Sister Charles Marie Frank Student Leader, Directors Nursing Excellence nominee, she has publication of articles related to leading health care teams in interdisciplinary improvements, patient safety and operations of care delivery. Ms. Hall graduated from the Health Care Leadership Development program and received her mentoring certification at the Fellowship level.

Jessie D’Agostino, MMAS, RN, BSN, PHN, CENP, Deputy Nurse Executive/ Deputy Associate Director Patient Care Services

Jessie D’Agostino, MMAS, RN, BSN, PHN, CENP

Deputy Nurse Executive/ Deputy Associate Director Patient Care Services

Jessie D’Agostino, MMAS, RN, BSN, PHN, CENP was appointed Deputy Nurse Executive/ Deputy Associate Director Patient Care Services of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) February 2021. She joins us from Long Beach VA where she was the Acting Deputy Nurse Executive (DNE)/ DADPCS and the Chief Nurse of Mental Health and Patient Care Services. She is an experienced nurse leader and clinical nurse with 30 years of service in the VA at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System. Her career in progressive Nursing Management & Leadership in diversified settings include Mental Health, Ambulatory Care, Specialty Care, Primary Care, Education, Community Health, Geriatrics and long-term care. She has extensive experience with leading teams and healthcare transformation. She serves Veterans and staff by fostering a culture of continuous improvement in the organization, developing leaders and systems that focus on improving quality, safety, value and healthcare delivery process for our Nations Veterans. She graduated from Loma Linda University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis on Nursing Leadership and Community/Public Health. She is certified in Public Health Nursing. She brings knowledge and skills gained as a VA Interagency Scholar through the VA Learning University (VALU)/Corporate Employee Development Board (CEDB) Program as the first civilian nurse to graduate the Command and General Staff Officers’ Course from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) where she also completed her Masters in Military Arts and Science with a focus on leadership and organizational change. She also earned a certificate in Inter-Agency Studies, Homeland Security, and Humanitarian Operations. She acquired the certification of Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) from American Organization of Nurse Leaders (AONL) a hallmark compendium of skills necessary for successful nurse executive practice. She is a VA certified Mediator and Mentor. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, AONL and ANA. She was recognized for her nursing excellence in an expanded role as a nominee for the VA Secretary’s Award. She has received numerous VA Awards and has received both a Congressional Award and Senatorial Award for her contributions to Veterans Healthcare community contributions. Her mission and purpose is to live the VA “I CARE” Values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence to serve Veterans and serve Staff.

Katherine O. Kalama, Assistant Director

Katherine O. Kalama

Assistant Director

Katherine Kalama was appointed Assistant Director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System (VAPIHCS) in February 2021. As a member of the Senior Executive Team, she is responsible for several administrative operations of the health care system. As such, Mrs. Kalama has oversight for Future Operations, Strategic Plans and Joint Ventures; Current Operation, Veteran and Employee Experience, Safety Industrial Hygiene, Green Environmental Management, Security, Emergency Management, Systems Redesign and Data Analysis. Prior to being appointed Assistant Director, Mrs. Kalama served as the Chief of Safety and Security, VAPIHCS since April 2019. In addition to her VA experience, Katie has served as Safety and Occupational Health Manager for the Hawaii Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii. Mrs. Kalama is an Iraq War (OIF) Veteran with over 20 years of military experience as an Army Aviator and still serves in the Hawaii Army National Guard. Mrs. Kalama holds a Bachelor in Mathematics and Master’s Degree in Emergency Management. She is a graduate of the Command and General Staff Officers’ Course and the Advanced Operations Course.