Last week the Senate approved President Obama’s nominee, David Shulkin, M.D., current president of Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey, to oversee the health care arm of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Shulkin will assume the role of managing a troubled health care system responsible for 9 million veterans in nearly 1,000 VA facilities nationwide.
Carolyn Clancy, M.D., has been serving as interim undersecretary for health since Robert Petzel, M.D., stepped down in the wake of a 2014 scandal that exposed improper scheduling practices. These practices resulted in over year-long waits for veterans seeking care at various sites and records were falsified to make it appear patients were receiving treatment in a timely manner. These long wait times contributed to as many as 40 patient deaths, according to VA officials. Public outrage over these revelations eventually led to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.
Shulkin is a nationally recognized authority on hospital management with specific expertise in integrated delivery systems, quality and safety, error reduction, patient/physician satisfaction improvement, and strategic issues in healthcare.