Former Henry Ford Health System CEO Nancy Schlichting will not take VA secretary position

Former Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System CEO Nancy Schlichting met with President-elect Donald Trump's transition team in New York Jan. 5 regarding the open secretary of Veterans Affairs position. Although the details of the meeting are confidential, Ms. Schlichting will not be taking the position, a health system spokesperson confirmed with Becker's.

Ms. Schlichting served as chairperson of the Commission on Care, a 15-member group commissioned by the U.S. Congress to analyze the VA health system and make recommendations for overhaul and devising a new long-term strategy. Ms. Schlichting's purpose for meeting with the Trump team was to share details of the commission's final report, published in June, and to advocate for the new administration and future secretary to take the commission's recommendation's into account, HSHS spokesperson Brenda Craig said in an email to Becker's.

Ms. Schlichting retired from HSHS Dec. 31 after 18 years with HSHS. Wright Lassiter III, who has served as the health system's president, succeeds her.

The VA secretary position remains unfilled. Mr. Trump previously tapped Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD, for the role, but Dr. Cosgrove turned it down to continue serving as health system CEO.

Dr. Cosgrove, who also serves on a 16-member advisory panel to the president-elect, was considered a top choice for the VA Secretary position, according to Bloomberg. He was previously offered the position under President Barack Obama, when VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned over the wait time scandal in 2014. Dr. Cosgrove also turned down this offer to keep his role as chief of Cleveland Clinic.

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