Leadership Team - El Paso VA Health Care System
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El Paso VA Health Care System


Leadership Team

Michael L. Amaral, Director

Michael L. Amaral | 915-564-7904


Mr. Amaral is a recent retired Army Veteran who has over 30 years dedicated service with an emphasis in health care leadership. In fact, he served as Chief of Staff for William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso. His experience also includes: Chief of Business Operations for TRICARE Regional Office, Virginia; Director of Medical Administrations and Operations at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as well as Department Administrator for Department of Medical also at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington DC just to name a few. Mr. Amaral received his MS in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University in Waco Texas and his BS from Norwich University, Vermont as a Distinguished Military Graduate.

Tracey Arensmann, Associate Director

Tracey Arensmann | 915-564-7901

Associate Director

Tracey Arensmann is a Navy Veteran who proudly served as an Air Traffic Controller at Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nevada from 1985-1990. She began her VA career in 2011 as a Budget Analyst in St. Louis, Missouri following 20 years in the private sector financial field. Tracey later became the Interim Chief Financial Officer at the Charlie Norwood VA in Augusta, Georgia and from 2014 until 2016 also served as the Interim Executive Director for the St. Louis VA Research Foundation. In February 2017 she decided to make a career move to Texas and join the El Paso VA Health Care System team. Tracey served as the permanent Chief Financial Officer the El Paso VA for over four years until July 2021 when she was selected to become the Associate Director. Tracey is actively involved in national cancer support groups, dedicating over a decade of time to the Siteman Care Center in Saint Louis, Missouri and the Grossmont Cancer Treatment Center in San Diego, California.

Blanca Aragon MSN, RN, Nurse Executive

Blanca Aragon MSN, RN | 915-564-7908

Nurse Executive

Blanca Aragon was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She is an alumni of the Bel Air Center for Health Professions. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Texas At El Paso; and her Masters of Science in Nursing, Nurse Systems Management from The University of Texas At El Paso, with certificates in Healthcare Leadership and Nursing Education. Mrs. Aragon has four years of civilian and ten years of federal nursing experience. During her civilian career, she served as a staff RN in the Emergency Department at Metroplex Hospital in Killeen, Texas; a Nursing Supervisor for Endoscopy and Internal Medicine at the Tanana Valley Medical-Surgical Group in Fairbanks, AK, and a staff RN for Endoscopy Services at Sierra Medical Center in El Paso, TX. Mrs. Aragon began her career with the EPVAHCS in June 2009 as a staff RN in the Ambulatory Surgery Unit (ASU). Soon after she was promoted to the Assistant Nurse Manager of ASU where she provided vital leadership in the areas of Sterile Processing, Peri-operative Services, and Reusable Medical Equipment. Mrs. Aragon then promoted to the ASU Nurse Manager, where she served in that role for three years. From December 2011 to June 2012, she served as the Interim Associate Director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at the EPVAHCS. Mrs. Aragon’s most recent assignment is that of the Deputy Nurse Executive, where she has served as an alternate member of the executive leadership team since May 2013.

Eric D. Kendle, MD D.A.B.S., D.A.B.L.M, Chief of Staff

Eric D. Kendle, MD D.A.B.S., D.A.B.L.M | 915-564-7911

Chief of Staff

Eric D. Kendle, MD is an Air Force Veteran who prior to working for the El Paso VA was the Chief of Staff of the Texas Valley Coastal Bend VA where he has served for over four years. Prior to that position he wore multiple hats as the Assistant Chief of Surgery, Clinic Director and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery for the Southern Arizona VA in Tucson. Dr. Kendle was raised on military bases as an Air Force dependent. He graduated from Hahn American High School, Hahn Air Base, Germany in 1980. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona in 1987 and later graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1991. Dr. Kendle decided to join his Father’s footsteps by serving in the military. He began his Air Force career with a direct commission into the Arizona Air National Guard in May of 1992. He joined the 162nd Fighter Wing as a General Medical Officer and then completed the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course in November of 1993 while simultaneously continuing his General Surgery Residency which he completed in 1996. In 2004, he was one of the first Air National Guard Flight Surgeons to report to the Baghdad Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) facility at Sather Air Base where he served as Flight Surgeon and Trauma Surgeon proving the worth and value of Air National Guard Flight Surgeons in theatre. In 2005, he was selected as the Chief of Aerospace Medicine, 162nd Medical Group. In 2007 he served a second tour in Iraq as the Chief of Aerospace Medicine at the Sather Air Base EMEDS. In February 2010, he was assigned to become the 162nd Fighter Wing’s Medical Group (MDG) Commander. He led the MDG to Vigilant Guard Guam, a FEMA Joint forces mass casualty and disaster preparedness exercise in August 2010. This proved the capability of the EMEDS concept for rapid deployment and sustainable provision of Expeditionary Medical Service in times of imminent need. Following 22 years of honorable service Dr. Kendle decided that after a rewarding career it was time to hang up the uniform. He retired from the Air Force in December 2014 as a Colonel, logging over 820 hours of flight time in the F-16 aircraft and over 1000 total flying hours with 72 combat sorties in multiple airframes. He is a member of the several groups including: the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, Alliance of Air National Guard Flight Surgeons, Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, Association of American Indian Physicians, and the American Board of Surgery.