News

Cleveland Clinic’s Cosgrove withdraws from running to head VA

Cleveland Clinic’s Cosgrove withdraws from running to head VA

HELP (STILL) WANTED: Toby Cosgrove, 73, a Vietnam veteran and surgeon, was in the running to replace former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned on May 30 amid a political firestorm over widespread delays in veterans' medical care. Photo: Reuters

By Emily Stephenson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Toby Cosgrove, the head of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic who the White House had considered nominating to lead the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs, said on Saturday he had withdrawn from consideration for that position.

Cosgrove, 73, a Vietnam veteran and surgeon, was in the running to replace former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned on May 30 amid a political firestorm over widespread delays in veterans’ medical care.

Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson has been leading the agency while President Barack Obama looks for a permanent replacement. Last week, Cosgrove was said to be under consideration.

In a statement on Saturday, Cosgrove said he was honored to have been considered for the VA position and had great respect for veterans.

“This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision, but I have decided to withdraw from consideration from this position and remain at the Cleveland Clinic, due to the commitment I have made to the organization, our patients and the work that still needs to be done here,” Cosgrove said.

The Cleveland Clinic under Cosgrove has looked to broaden its reach by opening a large, super-modern specialty hospital in Abu Dhabi.

White House officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Cosgrove’s decision.

The VA scandal began with reports of schemes to hide long patient wait times at facilities in Phoenix, and has since spread to other parts of the country. The agency’s inspector general now is probing 42 separate VA healthcare locations.

Gibson, the department’s acting head, told reporters in Phoenix on Thursday that VA staff had contacted 1,700 veterans whose names appeared on secret waiting lists and found that 18 of them had already died.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

Recent Headlines

in Music

Lady A, Little Big Town added to CMAs

Fresh
littlebigtown

More performers have been added to the Country Music Association Awards lineup.

in Music

Blake Shelton gets his own road

blakeshelton

The "Honey Bee" hitmaker's success will be celebrated at a block party on Blake Shelton Boulevard.

in Entertainment, Sports

Michael Strahan making film debut in ‘Magic Mike’ sequel

strahan

The former football star turned TV host is set to take on the big screen.

in Entertainment

Amanda Bynes back behind bars

bynes2

The troubled former Nickelodeon star is in trouble for drugs again.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Fan tackled on field

18-overlay3

An Ohio State fan tried to rush the field in the middle of Saturday's game, but he wasn't counting on a quick-thinking coach.