Burwell appoints new counselor from Wal-Mart

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell continued her management shake-up Wednesday by naming a former vice president at Wal-Mart as senior adviser. 

The move to bring Leslie Dach to HHS reveals Burwell's interest in heading off problems during ObamaCare's second enrollment period, due to start in November.

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The new HHS secretary also wants to add professionals with significant private sector experience to her inner circle. 

"Leslie’s experience, which spans the business, government, and civil society sectors, will further enhance our ability to deliver impact for the American people," Burwell said in a statement. 

"We want to not only retain, but also recruit, talented individuals to our mission of ensuring every American has access to the building blocks of a healthy, productive life." 

Dach will focus on ObamaCare's second enrollment period as well as projects across the department, according to a press memo. 

He served as Wal-Mart's executive vice president for corporate affairs between 2006 and 2013, where he brokered the company's partnership with first lady Michelle Obama on childhood fitness and nutrition. 

Burwell also has professional history with Wal-Mart, having served as president of the company's charitable foundation in 2012.

Dach and Burwell have known each other for more than 20 years. They first worked together in the 1988 Dukakis presidential campaign, according to a senior HHS official, and in the Clinton administration.

Wednesday's announcement came roughly one month after Burwell appointed Andy Slavitt to help coordinate operations at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

A former executive at Optum, he helped shore up the federally run exchange last fall.

HHS still has not named a CEO or CTO for the marketplaces, new positions Burwell created last month.

— This post was last updated at 1:03 p.m.