Who wants to be the new VA health chief?

Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson on Tuesday announced the troubled agency has kicked off the hunt to find its next top doctor.

Gibson said he was putting together a committee of healthcare experts and industry leaders to help pick the next undersecretary for health at the VA.

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“This is one of the most important jobs in government today,” Gibson said in a statement. “This is the largest integrated healthcare system in the country. We need a leader who will be a change agent and deliver necessary reforms to provide our veterans timely access to the world-class health they’ve earned and reserved.”

Jeffrey Murawsky, who had previously been nominated for the post, pulled his name from contention earlier this month because he feared his confirmation could devolve into a political brawl over his work as chief executive officer of the Great Lakes VA Health Care System, the White House said at the time.

Murawsky was nominated to replace Robert Petzel, who was forced to step down in May in the wake of findings by the VA inspector general that showed massive patient data-tampering at an agency hospital in Phoenix.

That study, along with a White House-backed audit of the VA’s entire healthcare system that found fraudulent practices at a majority of the agency’s provider sites, lead to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigning on May 30.

One of the more notable names to serve on the newly formed search committee is Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, who was once considered a contender to replace Shinseki.

Gibson did not provide a deadline for when the panel would wrap up its search. The acting secretary is in Baltimore on Tuesday to meet leadership at a VA medical center there.

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