VISN 8 Leaders - VA Sunshine Healthcare Network
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VA Sunshine Healthcare Network


VISN 8 Leaders

Miguel H. LaPuz, MD, MBA, FACHE 
VISN 8 Network Director

Miguel LaPuz, MD, VISN 8 Director
Miguel H. LaPuz, M.D., was appointed as Director of the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network, VISN 8, effective February 21, 2016. Prior to his appointment, Dr. LaPuz served as the Medical Center Director of the Salem VA Medical Center (VAMC), Salem, Va., from 2011 to 2015.  

As Director of VISN 8, he oversees healthcare delivery through a system of eight hospitals (two of which are integrated) and nearly 60 primary care and specialty outpatient clinics; eight nursing homes; and five domiciliaries. VISN 8 serves a 1.5 million Veteran population and in 2015, the network provided healthcare to over 603,000 patients—#1 in the nation.    

Dr. LaPuz’s previous VA experience includes serving as Chief of Staff at the Salisbury VAMC, in Salisbury, N.C from 2009 to 2011; in 2010, he also served there as the VAMC’s interim Director.  From 2005 to 2009, he was the Chief of Staff at the Chalmers P. Wylie VA Ambulatory Care Center, Columbus, Ohio, and from 2000 to 2005, he served as Chief of Medicine Service at the Dayton VAMC in Dayton, Ohio. 

A native of the Philippines, Dr. LaPuz received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (Pre-Med focus) in 1978 from the University of the Philippines, Quezon City, R.P., and his medical degree in 1982 from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine in Manila. In 2000, he also earned a Masters of Business Administration from Wright State University in Dayton.

A physician who specializes in Nephrology (conditions of the kidney), Dr. LaPuz did his residency in Internal Medicine at The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., and completed a Fellowship in Nephrology at Long Island College Hospital, also in Brooklyn.  He also completed a Fellowship in Molecular Biology Research at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky. 

Named Teacher of the Year at Wright State University’s School of Medicine in 1998, Dr. LaPuz holds professional certifications by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Healthcare Leadership Institute and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.  

Edward P. Cutolo, Jr., MD
VISN 8 Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Ed Cutolo, VISN 8 Chief Medical Officer
Appointed in November 2017, Dr. Ed Cutolo is responsible for the quality of the clinical programs within VISN 8, focusing on the four missions of the VA: patient care, academics, research, and emergency preparedness. Dr. Cutolo came to VISN 8 from the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, where he served as Chief of Staff and in various other positions. 

He is certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He previously served as Associate Chairman and Associate Program Director for the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine in Tampa. He currently holds the title of Associate Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Cutolo grew up in a military family and lived in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Louisiana, Venezuela as well as Argentina.  The family eventually settled in Tampa, where he attended Jesuit High School.

Dr. Cutolo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from The John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland in 1990.  He attended Medical School at USF where he completed his internship and residency in 1998.  Shortly after, Dr. Cutolo joined JAHVH as the first Hospitalist. 

David L. Whitmer
VISN 8 Chief Operations Officer
(currently on assignment to Roseburg VA Medical Center as Interim Director)

David Whitmer, VISN 8 Chief Operating Officer
David L. Whitmer has been the VISN 8 Chief Operations Officer since May, 2014. Mr. Whitmer's last position was at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) serving as the Chief Operating Officer for the National Eye Institute (NEI) and as the principal advisor to the Director in all matters affecting human capital management and workforce planning; grants, contracts and procurement management; management analysis; information management, information technology, and information systems; technology transfer and development (including patents, employee inventions, and licenses); research space and facilities planning; and other general administrative support functions/activities. He previously held executive roles with the Division of Management Services, Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and as chief of the Management Policy and Administrative Services Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).  Whitmer holds a master's degree in public administration and political science from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Ways to Contact VISN 8