Healthcare Leadership Summit Honors Leader Who Values Human Development

Share Article

At the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) annual meeting on March 22nd, Fernando O. Rivera earned two prestigious honors. The first, the Federal Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Award (FEHLA), secured for his dynamic and innovative management skills in the federal healthcare arena. For his engaging mentoring talents with residents and fellows participating in the VHA Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP), Rivera garnered the Veterans Health Administration’s Preceptor of the Year Award.

News Image
“My passion is working with future leaders to develop their skills and talents. Helping them to discover where their interests are, and working on a plan that positions them for success, is something from which both parties learn,” says Rivera.

At the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) annual meeting on March 22nd, Fernando O. Rivera earned two prestigious honors. The first, the Federal Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Award (FEHLA), secured for his dynamic and innovative management skills in the federal healthcare arena. For his engaging mentoring talents with residents and fellows participating in the VHA Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP), Rivera garnered the Veterans Health Administration’s Preceptor of the Year Award.

Rivera leads a healthcare delivery system of four medical centers and team of more than 7,000 professionals in the mid-Atlantic region for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The highly coveted FEHLA award recognizes just one of the 1,800 federally employed ACHE members who makes significant and impactful contributions above and beyond the daily norm to the College, and who demonstrate a deep commitment to mentoring, lifelong learning, and professional development. USAF Brigadier General (retired) Donald B. Wagner, commissioned the award to honor federal employees.

“I’m deeply grateful to Brig. Gen. Wagner and the College for recognizing me. Personally, I have benefitted from ACHE, and in turn, this motivates me to develop future healthcare leaders,” says Rivera. “Many people throughout my career invested in me, and in turn, I want to pay it forward to help future leaders navigate their professional development with VA.”
The prestigious Preceptor of the Year Award is well deserved. Rivera has increased the number of certified mentors throughout his area from 53 to 114. A recent analysis found that of current VA staff, 18 percent are on track to retire in less than five years. Rivera strives to develop future managers for VHA who can transition into executive roles.

“My passion is working with future leaders to develop their skills and talents. Helping them to discover where their interests are, and working on a plan that positions them for success, is something from which both parties learn,” says Rivera.

Rivera values education. In addition to being a VHA Certified Mentor, he holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), a faculty member of the College, and an Executive Coach with Georgetown University.

His career with VA spans 27 years, starting as a Civil Engineer at the New Orleans VA Medical Center and leading to his current role as Network Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network 5 (VISN 5), the Capitol Healthcare Network. Over 780,000 Veterans live in the VISN 5 health service area of Maryland, D.C., Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and may access care through four medical centers and 17 outpatient clinics.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Rosalia Scalia