White House considering Cleveland Clinic CEO to lead VA

The Obama administration has approached the Cleveland Clinic’s chief executive, Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, to run the troubled Veterans Affairs Department, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Cosgrove’s name is the first to surface following Friday’s resignation by Secretary Eric Shinseki. He stepped down in the wake of two reports that found systemic fraud throughout the department’s healthcare system aimed at covering up how long veterans had to wait for care.

President Obama tapped Sloan Gibson, Shinseki’s deputy for the previous three months, to run the agency until a permanent replacement is found.

While no final decision has been made, selecting Cosgrove, a heart surgeon and Vietnam War veteran with a Bronze star, could send a message about how serious the White House is about fixing the agency’s medical care system.

Dr. Michael Roizen, the chairman of the Clinic’s wellness institute, recently wrote a column for U.S. News & World Report, where he suggested Cosgrove is the right man to rein in the sprawling bureaucracy.

“I do know how to solve the problem. Just get Toby Cosgrove to lead the VA. (And those of us at the Cleveland Clinic hope he doesn’t accept.)” Rozien wrote.