The Lone Star Review - State

Harlingen Veterans Affairs Appoints Non-Medical Doctor to Chief of Staff

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this publishing or on this website should be taken as legal advice.

Harlingen Veterans Affairs Appoints Non-Medical Doctor to Chief of Staff

The Veterans Affairs Texas Valley Coastal Bend Healthcare System headquartered in Harlingen, Texas has recently promoted a non-medical doctor to a traditional medical license role.

Per the Harlingen Veterans Affairs, psychologist Jennifer A. Wood was appointed Chief of Staff for the healthcare system that encompasses the lower part of Texas. The major cities in this Veterans Affairs healthcare system include Laredo, McAllen, Harlingen, and Corpus Christi.

Harlingen Veterans Affairs Posts Internal Job Announcement

The Harlingen Veterans Affairs posted the job announcement on The posting ran from July 8, 2022 through July 18, 2022. The role listed a salary range of $144,499 through $173,300.

Although the Harlingen Veterans Affairs indicated it was going to hire a non-medical doctor to be its Chief of Staff, it only opened the role to people employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Harlingen Veterans Affairs has Two Internal Applicants for Chief of Staff

In a memorandum dated August 22, 2022, Director Homero Martinez indicated there were only two applicants for the role of Chief of Staff that was posted to exclude medical doctors and the public. The memorandum indicated that one of the two applicants declined to interview and Jennifer A Wood was selected to the role that is traditionally held for medically licensed individuals.

Harlingen Veterans Affairs had to Request Special Approval to Avoid Hiring Someone with a Medical License

A memorandum dated May 25, 2022, was sent by Director Homero Martinez to request special approval to hire someone without a medical license to be Chief of Staff for all the veterans receiving care in the Veterans Affairs Texas Valley Coastal Bend Healthcare System.

In his request, he claims that it has been hard to recruit medical doctors to the role. This is rather interesting since the role has typically had a medical doctor in it since the healthcare system was established in 2010. There have been periods of time that interims have filled the role during the recruitment process. In this case, Director Homero Martinez claims the position has been vacant since July 2021. However, in providing justification, Director Homero Martinez did not list the amount of times the role was posted, the outcome of those postings, and the reasons medical doctors elected not to take the role of Chief of Staff.

Rather, Director Homero Martinez cites cultural issues as the reason medical doctors do not want to be Chief of Staff under his leadership:

The location of our facility which is rural and culturally unique does not attract high-quality candidates, especially for key leadership positions.

Memorandum Dated May 25, 2022, from Director Homero Martinez, VA TX Valley Costal Bend Healthcare System

The memorandum seems to indicate people of any quality do not want to work for his healthcare system; however, he only opened the position to internal candidates and not to the “culturally unique” area. The memorandum seems to further imply there are not “highly qualified” employees within the healthcare system.

A role typically performed by a licensed medical professional is now led by a psychologist with no medical licensing. How will the serviced veterans take this idea? Will it be successful or will there be concerns?

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may like to read our publishing on a criminal defense counsel’s claim that a Harlingen Texas Ranger perjured himself in a court hearing.

Or you may find our story on the arrest of a Cameron County jailer of interest.

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