Health care expertsto help pickVA chief
BALTIMORE — The White House has turned to health care experts and industry leaders in its effort to pick a new leader for the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency's interim leader said on Tuesday.
“This is one of the most important jobs in government today,” Sloan Gibson said at the Baltimore VA Center. “This is one position that has a greater opportunity to have an impact and make a lasting difference than any other opportunity in health care.”
Cleveland Clinic Chief Executive Delos Cosgrove, Disabled American Veterans Executive Director Garry Augustine, and Army Surgeon General Patricia Horoho are among the members of a nine-person panel discussing candidates, Gibson said.
Other panel members include Kenneth Kizer, a professor at the University of California, Davis; John Prescott of the Association of Medical Colleges; and Veterans of Foreign Wars Executive Director Bob Wallace, Gibson said.
Revelations of widespread delays in providing health care to veterans that in some cases led to fatalities has embarrassed President Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to improve veterans' care in 2008.
Furor over bottlenecks and revelations that VA officials concealed waiting lists to earn bonuses cost former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki his job. Obama has pledged to quickly name a new full-time head of the agency and overhaul the veterans' healthcare system, which has about 9 million enrollees, 150 hospitals and 820 community-based outpatient clinics.
Cleveland Clinic's Cosgrove has been mentioned as a possible candidate to lead the VA but has said he does not want the job.
Maryland lawmaker Elijah Cummings said Gibson would need to restore trust in the agency.
“The idea of a patient waiting so long that they expire ... we are much better than that,” Cummings said.
Meanwhile, workers at the Phoenix VA Health Care System — where investigators say veterans' health was jeopardized when employees covered up long wait times for patients — received about $10 million in bonuses, newly released records show.
Documents from the VA indicate than 2,100 employees got bonuses during the course of a three-year period, the Arizona Republic reported on Tuesday.
The records, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, show the bonuses kept increasing. The VA paid $2.5 million in 2011, $3.5 million in 2012 and $3.9 million last year. The merit-based bonuses were doled out to nearly 650 employees each of those years. The employees included doctors, nurses, administrators, secretaries and cleaning staff.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Edible pot ban proposed, yanked in Colorado
- Earth heads for record 2014
- Over 3 years, extended federal leave adds up to $775M
- GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away
- Indiana slaying suspect hints at more deaths
- High court will take case on gun ownership
- Revised Ebola guidelines stress full gear, training
- EPA hopes grants will reduce Lake Erie algae
- Navy civilian goes on trial for diverting $2M to brother of his boss
- Congress examines NSA official’s part-time job
- Crowd at Met protests ‘Death of Klinghoffer,’ calling opera anti-Semitic