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Minneapolis VA Health Care System


Leadership Team

Portrait of Patrick J. Kelly, FACHE

Patrick J. Kelly, FACHE | 612-725-2101


Patrick J. Kelly, Captain, US Navy (retired), was appointed as Director of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System in June 2013.

Mr. Kelly received his BA degree in 1979 from Creighton University, Omaha, NE. He received a Master of Public Health Degree in 1982 from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in 1983 and assigned as the Medical Administrative Officer, Branch Medical Clinic, NAS Miramar, San Diego, CA. In August 1985 he transferred to Naval Dental Center, Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines as Fiscal and Supply Officer. Ordered to Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, WA in 1987, he served as the Fiscal and Supply Officer until April 1990 when he transferred to the 3d Medical Battalion, Okinawa, Japan serving as the Battalion Executive Officer. In 1993 he matriculated at the Naval War College, Newport, RI, receiving a Masters in Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He then served with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), Washington, DC as a Senior Policy Analyst. He was Director for Administration, Naval Hospital, Pensacola, FL, June 1997 - May 2000.

He served one year as the Senior Health Care Administration Assignment Officer, Bureau of Navy Personnel, Millington, TN before reporting to Bremerton, WA where he served as Executive Officer of the Naval Hospital and Commanding Officer of the Fleet Hospital. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Rota, Spain from February - July 2003 and Naval Health Care New England from July 2004 - August 2005. He was ordered to the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, DC as the Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations from September 2005 - July 2007. He was the Chief of Staff, Navy Medicine West from July 2007 - June 2011, when he retired from the Navy. Prior to joining Minneapolis VAHCS, he served as director of the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System since July 2011.

Portrait of Kent Crossley, MD, MHA

Kent Crossley, MD, MHA | 612.725.2105

Chief of Staff

Kent Crossley, M.D. was appointed Chief of Staff in June 2011. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, Dr. Crossley served as Associate Chief of Staff/Education. He has held the rank of Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and a well-known expert in infectious diseases. Dr. Crossley received his clinical and research training in infectious diseases in the Channing Laboratory at Boston City Hospital. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. He received a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from the University of Minnesota in 2000. Another major interest is the clinical nature and epidemiology of infections in elderly people and in nursing home residents.

Portrait of Kurt E. Thielen

Kurt E. Thielen | 612-467-4194

Associate Director

Kurt E. Thielen, US Air Force (Retired) was appointed Associate Director in January 2015. Mr. Thielen received his BS in 1986 from the University of Minnesota, MN and his Master’s in Business Administration from Golden Gate University in 1992. He was commissioned in 1986 and attended navigator training. He served as a Weapon Systems Officer in F-4E/Gs and F-15Es in the Philippines, Alaska, Virginia, and England with 2500 hours of flight time in fighter aircraft. He is an Operation Allied Force and Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran and served in assignments on the Inspector General Team and as an Operations Squadron Commander for the Alaskan Region of North American Aerospace Defense before retiring in 2007. He came to the Minneapolis VAHCS as the Director of the Business Office and during that time has served in numerous national and network capacities. He is a graduate of Leadership VA in 2011.

Portrait of Martina D. Malek

Martina D. Malek | 612-629-7377

Chief Experience Officer

Martina Malek was appointed Associate Director/Chief Experience Officer of the Minneapolis VAHCS in April 2017. She most recently served as the Director of the Health Administration Service (HAS) in Minneapolis since June 2015. Prior to HAS, Ms. Malek was the Director of the Prosthetic Treatment Center where she started her VA career in 2007. She is the daughter of a career Army soldier, a lifelong Army brat. She is a graduate of the VA's Healthcare Leadership Development Program (HCLDP). Ms. Malek holds a Master of Nonprofit and Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Portrait of Helen Pearlman, MS, RN

Helen Pearlman, MS, RN | 612-725-2101

Nurse Executive

Helen V. Pearlman, became Nurse Executive at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System on September 1, 2010. Prior to her appointment, she spent 28 years in the U.S. Navy. Prior to joining the VA, Captain Pearlman served as assistant Chief of Staff at Navy Medicine West. A graduate of D'Youville College in Buffalo, New York, she was commissioned in the Nurse Corps in 1982, upon completion of Officers Indoctrination School in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1995, she received a master's of science degree from Hampton University, with a major in community health nursing and a focus on nursing education. She was deployed with Fleet Hospital 8 to Rota, Spain, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she was the Director of Nursing Services for the 250 bed hospital. In 2004 she was selected to be the Executive Officer, Naval Hospital, Naples. In 2006 she became the Commanding Officer of U. S. Naval Hospital Sigonella, Italy.