TOMAH, Wis. — Mario V. DeSanctis, the medical center director of the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center, began his three-year term on the American Hospital Association’s Governing Council for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services in January. As a member of the 17-person governing council, he will work with the AHA to identify ways to define and focus AHA policy, advocacy and member resources to improve the quality, efficiency and delivery of psychiatric and substance abuse services. The council represents more than 1,300 providers working in hospitals, clinics and other venues across the nation. “I look forward to shaping the discussions on mental health and substance abuse policy,” said DeSanctis. “Our work will influence the way people with mental illness and substance abuse issues are cared for years into the future.” The governing council advises the AHA on public policy issues, advocacy positions and emerging issues, member service strategies and serves as a channel back to the field. The AHA’s constituency sections are a unique blend of forum and network, linking members with shared interests and missions. DeSanctis joined the Tomah VA Medical Center in 2011 as the medical center director. He is responsible for directing operations for primary, specialty and mental health care at the Tomah VA and outpatient clinics in Clark County, Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids, and La Crosse. This covers a 16-county area in Central Wisconsin and Minnesota. DeSanctis is a 30-year Air Force veteran who served his country in the military medical community. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. For more information about DeSanctis or the Tomah VA Medical Center, please contact the Tomah VA Office of Public Affairs at (608) 372-7759 or e-mail,


Contributed by Scott Farley