NEW YORK — Under Secretary of Health for the Department of Veterans Affairs Dr. David Shulkin is President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the department next, Trump announced Wednesday.
Trump made the announcement during his wide-ranging press conference from Trump Tower.
"I appointed today the head secretary of the veterans administrations, David Shulkin," Trump said. "He's fantastic. He will do a truly great job."
"I think you'll be very impressed with the job he does," he added.
Trump told reporters that his team had interviewed "at least 100 people" for the job before settling on Shulkin.
"One of the commitments I made is that we're going to straighten out the whole situation for our veterans," Trump said. "Our veterans have been treated horribly."
In a statement following the press conference, Shulkin said:
It is my honor to serve as President-elect Trump’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs. President-elect Trump's commitment to caring for our veterans is unquestionable, and he is eager to support the best practices for care and provide our Veterans Affairs’ teams with the resources they need to improve health outcomes. We are both eager to begin reforming the areas in our Veterans Affairs system that need critical attention, and do it in a swift, thoughtful and responsible way.
According to his official VA bio, Shulkin has served in many chief executive roles, including as president and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He also served as president of Morristown Medical Center.
Shulkin was appointed to his current position by President Barack Obama in March 2015. He was confirmed by the Senate in June that same year.
As NPR noted, Shulkin noticeably is not a veteran, which is unusual for the post.