President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he will nominate David Shulkin to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Trump made the announcement while speaking at his first official press conference since winning the November election.
“I appointed today the head secretary of the Veterans Administration, David Shulkin,” Trump said. “We’ll do a news release in a little while. I’ll tell you about David, he’s fantastic. He’s fantastic. He will do a truly great job. One of the commitments I’ve made is that we’re going to straighten out the whole situation for our veterans.”
Shulkin is serving as the undersecretary of health for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was appointed to the position by President Obama in 2015.
Prior to joining the VA, Shulkin was the president and chief executive officer of the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He has also served as the president of the Morristown Medical Center, as well as the chief medical officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Although Shulkin is not a veteran himself, he has been at the forefront of recent issues surrounding the VA.
BREAKING: President-elect Donald Trump says he picks VA undersecretary David Shulkin to lead Department of Veterans Affairs.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 11, 2017
In May, the department introduced a proposal to expand the authority of nurses to treat veteran patients without doctor supervision. At the time, Shulkin led the initiative and answered questions surrounding veterans’ access to health services.
“My No. 1 imperative is to address the access issue among veterans,” he said in an interview with PowerPost last year.
On Wednesday, the president-elect said more than 100 people were interviewed for the position before Shulkin was selected.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 11, 2017
With the nomination of Shulkin, Trump will have just one more Cabinet position to fill: the secretary of agriculture.
Reuters reported last week that former Georgia Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue was the leading candidate to fill the position.
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