Haley VA has a new director

Published June 30, 2015

TAMPA — The James A. Haley VA Medical Center has a new director, an administrator with more than 30 years of experience with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Joe D. Battle has been the director of the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Miss., since 2012 and is expected to start his new job in Tampa within 45 days, the VA said Monday.

Battle formerly served as the associate director of VA medical centers in both Orlando and Dayton, Ohio.

Haley's last permanent director was Kathleen Fogarty, who was temporarily assigned in 2014 to oversee VA operations in the southwestern U.S. before she was appointed chief of a VA medical center in Kansas City, Mo.

Haley is one of the VA's busiest hospitals with an $850 million budget and more than 4,400 full-time employees. The hospital and clinics serve about 90,000 veterans in Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Polk counties, according to VA figures.

"We are excited to bring Mr. Battle on board as the new director," Paul Bockelman, an acting regional VA director, said in a statement. "His sound leadership qualities and proven experience will be valuable assets for the facility, the employees and volunteers, and most importantly, for the veterans we are honored to serve."

Battle is a 1981 graduate of the University of Alabama, where he earned a degree in civil engineering, and is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.