Trump makes VA pick, says agency will align with Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic

At his first formal news conference since July, President-elect Donald Trump announced he will promote David Shulkin, MD, current under secretary of health at the Veterans Affairs Department, to lead the VA, and plans to align the agency with "top-of-the-line" health systems.

After interviewing "at least 100 people," the Trump administration decided on Dr. Shulkin as the nomination for VA secretary. Dr. Shulkin has served as under secretary for health at the VA since 2015. Previously, he served as president of Morristown (N.J.) Medical Center, and before that, he was president and CEO of New York City-based Beth Israel Medical Center.

"David is going to do a fantastic job," Mr. Trump said Wednesday. "We're going to be talking to a few people also to help David, and we have some of the great hospitals of the world going to align themselves with us on the Veterans Administration, like the Cleveland Clinic," he added. Mr. Trump also named Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic among the "few more" of hospitals to work with the VA. "We're going to set up a group," he said. "And they're going to get together with their great doctors."

In an emailed statement, Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said: "It's truly an honor that Dr. [Toby] Cosgrove and Cleveland Clinic were recognized by President-elect Trump. It’s a testament of the great care provided by our doctors and caregivers to improve the health of our patients. Hopefully, Dr. Cosgrove can also contribute greatly to enhance the care that our Veterans get as well." Dr. Cosgrove is CEO of Cleveland Clinic. He was unofficially offered the VA position, but turned it down to retain his post at the health system.  

Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Entertainment, has also been involved in helping "straighten out the VA for our veterans," Mr. Trump said.

Becker's Hospital Review has reached out to Mayo Clinic for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.

 

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