Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS)
Amir Farooqi, FACHE | 334-272-4670
Amir Farooqi, FACHE, was appointed Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) effective September 27, 2020 having served Veterans since 2002 at the medical center, network, and national levels. Prior to his appointment, he served in this role on an interim basis starting October 2, 2019 and previously served in this role on an acting basis from April 2019 – June 2019. Mr. Farooqi previously served as Associate Director/Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center (VAMC) starting July 2017 and served in this role on an acting basis prior starting in November 2016. Prior to Tuscaloosa, he was Acting Assistant Director at Atlanta VAMC (August-November 2016). Starting in October 2015, he served formally as Public Affairs Officer for VA Southeast Network (VISN 7), having joined VISN 7 in November 2013 as Operations Manager and simultaneously serving as Interim Strategic Planner and Interim Public Affairs Officer for extended periods until September 2015. Before VISN 7, Mr. Farooqi was the Senior Analyst in VHA Strategic Planning under the Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Planning, where he coordinated VHA’s National Leadership Council Strategic Planning Summit, supported the VHA Strategic Plan, and coordinated VHA’s Performance Plan in VA’s Congressional Budget submission. He started his VA career as an Administrative Fellow at G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VAMC in Mississippi, progressing to Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff and prior to the Chief Nurse Executive. While there, he received the Secretary’s Hero Award for service during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mr. Farooqi achieved Fellow status in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) in 2009, has been a Member of the VA ACHE Regent’s Advisory Council since 2016, and is a Certified Mentor. He was recognized with the VA ACHE Regent’s 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Senior Leader Award. He is a graduate of the Executive Career Field Career Development Program (2008-2009), Leadership VA (2012-2013), and the Excellence in Government Fellow Program (2015-2016). He has served on various national and VISN committees and workgroups. He is currently on the Board for the Alabama Healthcare Executive Forum and previously served terms on other boards including the Leadership VA Alumni Association, Pets Are Loving Support (PALS), Mississippi HeARTs Against AIDS, and Unity Mississippi. He has spoken on national and regional webinars and panels related to leading successful change in healthcare organizations as well as diversity and inclusion. He is a Life Member of Mensa. Originally from Texas, where he earned his Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration, he is also a graduate of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science.
Brian Yee, MD, FACP, FACHE | 334-272-4670
Chief Of Staff
Brian Yee is Chief Of Staff at Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. He also served as Compensation and Pension (C&P) Program Lead for VISN 7, Acting PACT/Primary Care Program Lead and acting chief medical officer for VISN 7, technical advisor for Office of Community Care, acting chief of staff for the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, and technical advisor for Office of Disability and Medical Assessment. Dr. Yee received his medical degree in 1987 at the Medical College of Virginia and completed residency training under the University of California, San Francisco. He was an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF and published numerous articles, abstracts, books, and compilations on ambulatory care, resident physician performance, organizational planning, and performance improvement. Now in his 20th year with VA, he has been in public service for over 25 years, having held healthcare administrative positions at Federal, state, and county levels. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has received numerous teaching awards. He was inducted as Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 1998, recognized by the State of California in 2001 for contributions to their correctional healthcare system, recognized by VHA in 2011 for C&P improvements using Systems Redesign, and inducted as Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2016.
Laundrena LaPradd-Bradley, MHA, BSN, RN | 334-272-4670
Associate Director for Patient Care Services
Ms. Laundrena LaPradd-Bradley was appointed to Associate Director for Patient Care Services effective March 1, 2021, with 26 years of nursing experience. She joined the Tuskegee Veterans Affairs team in 1991 as a Student Nurse Technician while completing her nursing degree at Tuskegee University and she continued to serve Veterans as a Graduate Nurse Technician. In 1994, as a Registered Nurse, she continued to work in the Intensive Care Unit at the Tuskegee VA Medical Center. In 1997, Ms. LaPradd-Bradley transitioned as a Registered Nurse to the Life Support Unit on the Montgomery campus. Ms. LaPradd-Bradley has served in many capacities at Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, including Staff Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit, Community Living Center, Surgical Unit, Life Support Unit and Emergency Department and many other positions. Ms. LaPradd-Bradley was selected as the Deputy Associate Director of Patient Care Services in December 2019. She also worked in the Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Health and as a School Nurse in Autauga County. She is a 2018 Graduate of the Healthcare Leadership Development Program. She is a proud alumnus of Tuskegee University and attained a master's in healthcare administration from Ashford University. Ms. LaPradd-Bradley is married with two children.
Valerie Russell, FAC-P/PM, MSM | 334-272-4670
Valerie Russell was appointed Deputy Director at the Central Alabama VA Health Care System (CAVHCS) effective November 26, 2017. She comes to CAVHCS from the South Central VA Health Care Network (VISN 16) in Ridgeland, Mississippi as the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service Program Manager. Mrs. Russell recently completed a two-year assignment at the Alexandria VA Health Care System (AVAHCS). She served as Assistant Director to Activations where she successfully activated two large outpatient clinics in Lake Charles and Lafayette, Louisiana. During her time at AVAHCS, she also served as Acting Medical Center Director Prior to her detail as Assistant Director to Activations, she served as Acting Associate Director at AVAHCS. She also served as Acting Assistant Director at the Oklahoma City VA Health Care System. Mrs. Russell began her career in 1994 at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson, Arizona as a Program Support Assistant. Mrs. Russell has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Troy University in Troy, Alabama; and a Master’s Degree in Business also from Troy University. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is the proud wife of a retired 30-year Air Force Veteran (Chief Msgt). In addition, she is the proud mother of two children – her youngest son is an honor student and her other son is currently an Active Duty Air Force service member.
Prudence Howard | 334-272-4670
Before Howard’s appointment to this role, she served as the Director of Contracting for Network Contracting Office since 2013. In this role, she had operational oversight in managing the acquisition operations that support, advance and accomplished the patient care mission of the VA Southeast Network with over $440 million in contracts. Howard was responsible for coordinating acquisitions to establish and implement national, regional and Network goals and objectives in various services and care lines. She retired from the United States Navy in 2008, as a Lieutenant Commander in the Supply Corps, after serving 20 years of dedicated and honorable service, overseeing logistical operations for various Naval Air Stations and two U.S. combatant vessels. After retiring, Howard went on to hold several Acquisition Leadership positions within the Department of the Navy. She managed the execution of highly complex procurements, including fleet vehicles, telecommunications, consulting services, components of major systems, complex scientific equipment and services impacting customers throughout the world. Mrs. Howard has over 32 years of experience in acquisition, finance and logistics. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, National Contract Management Association and is a certified mediator and mentor.