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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 6:57 pm

Interim chief appointed for area VA center

Brian Francisco | Washington editor

The Department of Veterans Affairs has appointed a temporary leader for the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System.

Mark Murdock, associate director of the VA medical center in Dayton, will become acting director of the Northern Indiana system, which operates medical centers in Fort Wayne and Marion as well as clinics in Go­shen, South Bend, Peru and Muncie.

He will replace Denise Deitzen, who has been promoted to director of the VA’s Chicago-based Veterans Integrated Service Network 11, which comprises northwest Indiana, northern Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Deit­zen, who had the top job at the Northern Indiana system since late 2012, will begin her new position Oct. 19.

Murdock becomes the second interim leader this year for the Northern Indiana system. Dr. Himanshu Singh, the associate director of the VA system in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filled in for Deitzen for the first few months of this year while she was on assignment as acting director of the VA system in St. Louis.

Northern Indiana spokeswoman Teresa Calhoun said Murdock will head the system for up to 120 days while the VA recruits a permanent director. Federal regulations prohibit temporary senior executives from serving longer than 120 days at a time, which means the Northern Indiana system will be assigned another acting director if the post is not filled in that time. 

Murdock has been the No. 2 executive at the Dayton medical center since March 2013. He previously was assistant director and surgical service specialist at the center and program manager of the VA’s Tele-Nurse Triage Program in Dayton, according to his biography at the VA’s website.

He has worked for private-sector companies in the health care industry. He is an Air Force veteran who retired from the military as a Medical Service Corps officer in 1999.

The Sackets Harbor, New York, native earned a bachelor’s degree in health care management from Park University in Missouri and a master’s degree in health service administration from Xavier University in Ohio.