TRIBUTE TO MR. ROBERT A. PERREAULT -- (Extensions of Remarks - February 12, 2004)
HON. CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH
OF NEW JERSEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2004
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Mr. Robert A. Perreault, who retired o January 2, 2004, after more than 30 years of service in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
A veteran of the United States Navy, Bob Perreault began his VA career as a Medical Administrative Assistant in 1974 at the VA Outpatient Clinic in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bob rapidly progressed in his career, in VA field activities at a managerial and executive level, and in a number of key executive positions in VA Central Office. Among his notable assignments, he served in Washington as Director of the Medical Administration Service; Executive Assistant to VA's Chief Medical Director [now Under Secretary for Health]; and Director of Health Care Reform during the Clinton Administration. Mr. Perreault also served as Chief Executive Officer in Medical Centers in Newington, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. While in Atlanta and Charleston, he served in a dual role as VA's service line executive for primary care for a network of VA providers throughout Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. Throughout his distinguished VA career, Bob Perreault eagerly and enthusiastically assumed challenges and provided leadership to VA programs, with his eye always fixed squarely on the health care needs of veterans.
In May 2002, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs appointed Mr. Perreault Chief Business Officer of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). He was recruited to this key role because of his wealth of experience in field facilities and Central Office. In this new role, he brought invigorated leadership to VHA business functions to include improved eligibility determinations, significantly higher first- and third-party collections activities and improved patient administration policy. Mr. Perreault coordinated VHA's implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), aided the establishment of the new "VA Advantage" Medicare coordination program, improved management of the fee-basis and contract care programs, and provided more focused direction to VA's CHAMPVA program, among a myriad of activities within his jurisdiction or persuasion.
Mr. Perreault twice was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award for career senior executives, and received numerous other national recognitions and performance awards during his career. Employing his vast institutional knowledge and business acumen, Robert Perreault has proven time and again he is a true and loyal friend to America's veterans.
On behalf of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I want to thank Robert Perreault for his steadfast and intrepid service to the Nation's veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs.