Donald Trump names David Shulkin as VA secretary

Trump annouces VA secretary pick

President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he intends to select Undersecretary of Health David Shulkin to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"I have no doubt Dr. Shulkin will be able to lead the turnaround our Department of Veterans Affairs needs. His sole mandate will be to serve our veterans and restore the level of care we owe to our brave men and women in the military," Trump said in a statement.

"Sadly our great veterans have not gotten the level of care they deserve, but Dr. Shulkin has the experience and the vision to ensure we will meet the healthcare needs of every veteran," he said. "Dr. Shulkin is an incredibly gifted doctor who is using his elite talents for medicine to care for our heroes, and Americans can have faith he will get the job done right."

"He's fantastic," Trump said earlier at his news conference. "He will do a truly great job."

Shulkin said it was an honor to serve the president-elect and called his commitment to caring for veterans "unquestionable."

Shulkin has served in numerous chief executive roles in New Jersey, including president of Morristown Medical Center, Goryeb Children's Hospital and Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute. He was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2015 to serve as the undersecretary of health.

Former Sen. Scott Brown, 57, who represented Massachusetts from 2010 to 2013, had been considered for the post.

The VA serves 8.76 million veterans every year and manages a network of 1,700 hospitals and other medical facilities.