The White House is considering nominating the chief executive of the Cleveland Clinic to be the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Secretary Eric Shinseki, a retired general, resigned last week in a scandal over long waits for veterans to get care at VA hospitals. Sloan Gibson is the acting secretary.
Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, 74, has led one of the nation's most prestigious hospital systems for a decade and is a cardiac surgeon and decorated Vietnam veteran. Three people familiar with the matter told the Journal the White House has approached him about the position, and one of them said Cosgrove is "seriously considering" accepting.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Cosgrove received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville and completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Brook General Hospital in London.
He was a surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and served in Da Nang as the Chief of U.S. Air Force Casualty Staging Flight. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal.
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Cosgrove is also known for overcoming his dyslexia. According to a Cleveland Plain Dealer story from 2004, “he has pioneered such procedures as mitral valve repairs. He is an accomplished inventor, with 18 patents, and a relentless workhorse, counting 700 surgeries last year an average of more than 13 a week.”