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VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

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Leadership Team

Donald E Koenig, Director

Donald E Koenig | 412-360-6391

Director

Donald E. Koenig is the director of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. He directs a staff of 3,700 who provide care to some 80,000 Veterans annually. He oversees all aspects of health care provided to Veterans at VA Pittsburgh's medical centers in Oakland and O'Hara Township, both in Allegheny County, and five outpatient clinics in Beaver, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania and Belmont County in Ohio. Mr. Koenig began his VA career in May 2019 as director of VA Pittsburgh. From 2009 to 2018, he was executive vice president and regional chief operating officer for the nonprofit Mercy Health-Youngstown and president of its St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital in Ohio. From 1998 to 2009, he was Mercy Health's vice president, corporate responsibility and assistant general counsel. Mr. Koenig received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Health Care Compliance Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. A Navy Veteran of 13 years, Mr. Koenig was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps.


Barbara Forsha, MSN, RN, ET, Deputy Director

Barbara Forsha, MSN, RN, ET | 412-360-6101

Deputy Director

Barbara Forsha is the Deputy Director of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). As deputy director, she oversees many of VAPHS’ operational roles. Ms. Forsha began her VA career at VAPHS in 1998 as a nurse manager. She was appointed deputy director in 2015. During her tenure, she has served as interim/acting director of VAPHS, Erie VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center and VA Butler Healthcare. Forsha graduated from nursing school in 1981.


Ali Sonel, M.D., Chief of Staff

Ali Sonel, M.D. | 412-360-6102

Chief of Staff

Dr. Ali Sonel is the Chief of Staff of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). He oversees VAPHS’ clinical management. Dr. Sonel previously served as director of VAPHS’ cardiac catheterization laboratories and as associate chief of staff for its research and development program. He is a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and teaches advanced cardiac life support at VAPHS. He also performs cardiac catheterizations and conducts research at VAPHS. Dr. Sonel received his medical degree from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. His graduate medical training included a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiology at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology.


Lovetta Ford, MSW, Associate Director

Lovetta Ford, MSW | 412-822-3325

Associate Director

Lovetta Ford is the Associate Director of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). Ms. Ford began her VA career as a clinical social worker at VAPHS. She has served in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility at VAPHS and with the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 4. Prior to her appointment to associate director, Ms. Ford served as the behavioral health manager and homeless program coordinator for VISN 4. Ms. Ford holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from West Virginia University and certification in marital and family therapy from the University of Pittsburgh.


Nicholas J. Haller, MSN, LNHA, FNP-BC, F, Interim Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Nicholas J. Haller, MSN, LNHA, FNP-BC, F | 412-360-6103

Interim Associate Director for Patient Care Services

Nicholas Haller is Interim Associate Director for Patient Care Services at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare (VAPHS). Mr. Haller joined VA in 1993 upon acceptance into the VA Learning Opportunity Residency (VALOR) program. He has provided clinical care in primary, long-term and hospice/palliative care. He served as VAPHS’ executive assistant to the chief of staff, health systems specialist, geriatric nurse manager in the Community Living Center (CLC) and associate chief nurse for long-term care for the CLC. Mr. Haller hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s in nursing (MSN) family nurse practitioner. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).


Alan Petrazzi, MPT, MPM, FACHE, Assistant Director

Alan Petrazzi, MPT, MPM, FACHE | 412-360-6391

Assistant Director

Alan Petrazzi is the Assistant Director of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). He oversees Management and Voluntary services, Recreation Therapy and the facility’s compliance program. He also leads a clinical integration initiative between VA’s Altoona, Butler, Erie and Pittsburgh locations. Mr. Petrazzi began his VA career in 2007 as director of VAPHS’ Physical Rehabilitation Services. He has served as operations manager for Primary Care, VAPHS acting associate director, and interim director of VA Butler Healthcare. Mr. Petrazzi holds master’s degrees in physical therapy and public management. He is a 2014 graduate of the Healthcare Leadership Development Program and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).


Sachin Yende, MD, Interim Deputy Chief of Staff

Sachin Yende, MD | 412-360-6102

Interim Deputy Chief of Staff

Dr. Sachin Yende is Interim Deputy Chief of Staff at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). He previously served as vice president of VAPHS’ Critical Care Medicine. He is a professor of critical care medicine and clinical and translational science vice chair at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Yende received his medical degree from King Edward Memorial Hospital, University of Mumbai. His graduate medical training included a residency in internal medicine at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at the University of Tennessee.