CHICAGO –The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) has honored Michael Anaya Sr., a Hinsdale resident and veteran of both the US Air Force and US Navy, as its October 2012 “Veteran of the Month.”
Anaya, who serves as Director of the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, was honored during a ceremony Monday at Chicago’s National Latino Education Institute. The Illinois Veteran of the Month award is a distinction bestowed upon military veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military.
“Director Anaya has parlayed a distinguished career in military healthcare into highly effective leadership and advocacy in the veteran healthcare system,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “A staunch advocate on all veteran-related issues, Michael has a keen understanding of veterans’ needs and has worked tirelessly to develop strategic relationships and partnerships to improve support for veterans in the Chicago area.”
Anaya served in the US Air Force (1979-1989) as a Pharmacy Technician and the US Navy (1989-2000) in the Medical Service Corps while, concurrently, working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from Wayland Baptist University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Midwestern State University. He retired in 2001 at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Anaya’s personal and professional achievements include:
• For his military service, he was awarded the USAF Excellence Award with Oak Leaf Cluster; USAF Good Conduct Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; USAF Longevity Service Award Ribbon with Oak Leaf Cluster; USAF NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon; Navy Training Ribbon; Navy Achievement Medal (4 Awards); Navy Marksmanship (Rifle/Pistol); USAF Overseas Service Ribbon (2 Awards); USAF Commendation Medal(1); USAF Achievement Medal; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal(3); and, Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
• In the veteran and civilian communities, Anaya is a member of the VFW; and, board member of Rotary International. He also participates in the Veterans of America organization through his involvement with Hope Manor, as well as aggressively advocates to end veteran homelessness.
• Professionally, he has more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry with executive roles in both the federal military health system and in the private sector including:
* Serving as Medical Center Director for the Jesse Brown VAMC and Chicago Health System since June 2011 where he leads more than 2,000 employees who provide care for some 62,000 veterans in the Chicago metropolitan area while managing an annual budget of more than $350 million. More recently, he has temporarily assumed director duties of the Hines VA Hospital in Maywood.
* Leading hospitals in Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, and Colorado as CEO and COO.
* Being recognized twice as a Fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
* Earning honors from Hispanic, Inc. as a Top 25 Minority Health Care Leader; nominated for ACHE’s prestigious Robert S. Hudgens Memorial Award; named as Board Member of the Year for 1999 by NAMASTE Hospice Comfort Care; and, ACHE Navy Regents Early Career Healthcare Executive of the Year for 1997.
* Serving as president and board member with the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives; and, regional policy board trustee for the American Hospital Association.
* Throughout his career, Anaya has served on numerous healthcare-related professional and civic boards, as well as many expert panels.
The “Veteran of the Month” award highlights the work of community servants who are also military veterans. Each month the Department recognizes a different person or group that contributes to the betterment of communities across the state of Illinois. To nominate a “Veteran of the Month,” please visit IDVA’s website at veterans.illinois.gov to obtain a list of guidelines and a nomination form.