Douglas Walsh, M.D., M.S.

Douglas Walsh, M.D., M.S.


As the Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development (ACOS/R) at Syracuse VA Medical Center, Dr. Walsh is responsible for the development and oversight of the research program supporting Veterans and their families. Dr. Walsh came to the Syracuse VAMC in 2013 as chief of dermatology. He is a 23-year veteran of the US Army, where he held the positions of director of the Army’s malaria clinical research units in Bangkok, Thailand for 10 years, and in western Kenya for 3 years. He brings an abundance of bench, pre-clinical and clinical research experience to the VA. As ACOS/R, Dr. Walsh continues to see dermatology patients.

S. Asif Ali, M.D. - Chief of Staff

S. Asif Ali, M.D.


Chief of Staff

Dr. Ali was selected as the Chief of Staff for the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center on July 12, 2015. Dr. Ali obtained his medical degree in 1996 from the Aga Khan University Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan. From there he went on to complete an Internal Medicine Residency and Chief Residency program at Case Western Reserve University St. Vincent's/St. Luke's Medical Center in 2001. Subsequently, Dr. Ali worked as a hospital employed primary care physician in Cleveland, Ohio from 2002 to 2006. Dr. Ali joined the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center in November 2006 as an Academic Internal Medicine Physician. He served as the Medical Staff President from April 2012 to July 2015. Dr. Ali also holds a position of a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

George W. Chapman

George W. Chapman


George is a native of CNY. He attended Christian Brothers Academy High School and Syracuse University where he received his bachelor’s degree in History and his M.B.A. in Finance. While attending SU, George was captain of the rowing team.

George has been involved in the healthcare industry for most of his career. He completed his management internship at the Syracuse VA. Since then, he has held senior executive positions with two community health centers and two teaching hospitals. He started healthcare consulting in 1995.

George has been a CNYRC board member since 2010 and is currently the treasurer. He is also first VP on the board of P.E.A.C.E which is a CNY community action agency. He is past president of the NYS Ambulatory Care Association, and served on the boards of the Central NY Health System Agency and the Dewitt Town Library.

James Cody, FACHE, Medical Center Director

James Cody, FACHE

Medical Center Director

James Cody was appointed Medical Center Director at the Syracuse VAMC in January 2000, prior to that he was the Acting Medical Center Director for one and one-half years and the Associate Director for three years at VAMC Providence, RI. As the "Chief Executive Officer" of a 106-bed, tertiary & primary care, teaching facility with a 48-bed Nursing Home Care Unit, community based outpatient clinics in 7 surrounding sites, and a 30- bed Spinal Cord Injury Center, Mr. Cody has direct responsibility for the successful administration of the Medical Center's total financial and personnel resources (an operating budget of $220 million and 1325 FTE) and the coordination of these resources to meet the health care needs of more than 150,000 Veterans in Central NY.

Mr. Cody earned the degree of Masters in Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Health Administration from New York University in January 1981. He had previously earned his Bachelor of Science (BSE) in Health Education from the State University of New York College at Cortland in May 1976. Mr. Cody has kept current in all aspects of health care administration by various means which includes: member of the University Hill Corporation Board in Syracuse, NY; President and Treasurer of the Healthcare Executive Group of Rhode Island; serving as a member of the Senior Health Care Executive Society of NJ (a group made up of the Chief Operating Officers of medical centers throughout the state); participating as a member of the DC Hospital Association Planning Committee; serving as the chairperson of an advisory committee to the Group Health Association HMO in Washington, DC; teaching as a part-time professor at the University of Maryland in their Health Care Management Program; and completing numerous continuing education courses. Mr. Cody is a Fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives. Mr. Cody entered the VA system in July 1978 (after initially entering federal service with the Department of Agriculture in March 1977), as a Safety Specialist at VAMC Brooklyn, New York. He progressed through positions of increasing complexity and responsibility at the VA Central Office and then at VA Medical Centers in Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Lyons, NJ; and Providence, RI. He was selected to receive the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives in 2009.

Mr. Cody resides in the town of Jamesville, NY with his wife Lois and their twin daughters.

Dr. Nick Armstrong

Dr. Nick Armstrong

Dr. Nick Armstrong is senior director for research and policy at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs’ Department of Public Administration and International Affairs.

As principal of the IVMF research mission area and member of the Institute’s senior leadership team, Armstrong guides the Institute’s overall efforts to conduct, facilitate, and disseminate research that informs and empowers stakeholder decision-making on veterans- and military family-related policies and programs.

Before joining the IVMF, Dr. Armstrong was a research fellow with the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), an interdisciplinary center co-sponsored by Syracuse University’s College of Law and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Armstrong was also an affiliated non-resident fellow with the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute at the US Army War College (2010-2012).

A US Army veteran, Armstrong served for seven years (2000-2007) as a commissioned field artillery officer, including nearly three years deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia. Armstrong held several leadership and staff positions at the platoon, battery, and battalion levels. He also served as speechwriter to the 10th Mountain Division commanding general and, previously, aide-de-camp to the division’s deputy commanding general. Armstrong’s military awards and decorations include two Bronze Star Medals, Air Assault Badge, Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

Armstrong is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point (B.S.) and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University (M.P.A., Ph.D.). His avocational pursuits include volunteering on the local leadership team of Team Red, White, and Blue, a non-profit organization that enriches veterans’ lives through physical and social activity.

Michael Cynamon, M.D.

Michael Cynamon, M.D.

Michael Cynamon, M.D., Infectious Disease Physician at the Syracuse VA Medical Center and Professor of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University has directed his research laboratory since 1979. He completed medical school at Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine followed by an infectious diseases fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO. His research focuses on antibacterial chemotherapy particularly the therapy of mycobacterial infections using in vitro susceptibility studies and evaluation of compounds in mouse models of tuberculosis.

Peter A. Jones

Peter A. Jones

Pete counsels and represents employers of all types and sizes in a variety of labor and employment-related contexts, including employment litigation in Federal and State courts and before the EEOC and Division of Human Rights, collective bargaining negotiations, wage and hour compliance and proceedings before administrative agencies and the courts, labor arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, strikes and picketing, and representation and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. He also represents a number of colleges and universities in labor matters and student discrimination claims.

Pete also represents a number of municipalities in labor matters, including proceedings before PERB and compulsory interest arbitration under New York's Taylor Law.

He also provides a broad range of training to executives, supervisors, managers and employees in a variety of topics, including EEO and anti-harassment compliance, wage and hour issues, investigations of workplace misconduct, documentation and performance reviews, electronic discovery and avoiding workplace violence.

Pete is a frequent speaker on a variety of labor and employment topics, and has served as a guest lecturer at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He has also written extensively on labor and employment law topics, having authored articles that appeared in the New York State Society for Human Resource Management's HR Review, the Labor Lawyer and the Journal of College and University Law.

Larry Lantinga, Ph.D.

Larry Lantinga, Ph.D.

Dr. Lantinga retired as Associate Director of the Center for Integrated Healthcare in April 2014, after 42 years as a VA employee. He now is a Senior Health Science Specialist and Web Master for CIH, working as a fee basis consultant. After receiving his PhD from the University of Nebraska--Lincoln, he completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center. Upon completion of his internship, Dr. Lantinga joined the Psychology Service at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center, where he was a clinician/administrator/researcher in the substance use disorders program. While in Salt Lake City, Dr. Lantinga held faculty positions in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah and in the Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Utah College of Medicine. In 1982, Dr. Lantinga became Chief of Psychology Service at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. At the Syracuse VAMC, in addition to serving as Chief of Psychology Service, Dr. Lantinga later served as Associate Chief of Staff for Research, and as Manager of the Behavioral Careline. In this latter position he was responsible for all programs and all employees working in mental health at the facility. Dr. Lantinga continues his academic affiliations today with faculty positions in the Psychology Department at Syracuse University and in the Departments of Psychiatry and Urology at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.

Mark Polhemus, M.D.

Mark Polhemus, M.D.

Dr. Polhemus is the Director of the Center for Global Health and Translational Science at Upstate Medical University and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine and Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He has a broad area of expertise in translational science, clinical infectious disease, and overseas research development and collaboration. He is a Board Certified physician in the subspecialty of Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine and did his residency and fellowship training at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Dr. Polhemus did his medical training at Brown University. His military career was spent performing a high level of translational research having spent 4 years at the Kenya Walter Reed Army Institute of Research overseas laboratory where he conducted clinical trials in malaria drugs and vaccines. Before becoming Director of the Center for Global Health, Dr. Polhemus was the Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. He is currently the principal investigator of several ongoing Phase 1 and Phase 2 vaccine trials at SUNY Upstate.

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