Healthcare Colleague Endorses Cosgrove As Head Of VA

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Obama’s top pick to head Veterans Affairs is Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove. One healthcare colleague gives Cosgrove a hearty endorsement to straighten out the troubled system.

Neither the Clinic nor the White House is confirming the report. But James Weinstein, CEO of New Hamphire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical system, thinks Cosgrove would be a solid choice as VA secretary.

“Toby represents all the positives one could think about it trying to reform healthcare and his experience as a surgeon, as a leader, as somebody who’s served in the military, all make him an ideal candidate.”

Cosgrove was an Air Force surgeon during the Vietnam War and earned a Bronze Star.

But it’s Cleveland Clinic’s pioneering use of healthcare information that Weinstein believes could be Cosgrove’s biggest contribution at the VA.

“I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to use that, to look at the value and outcomes of care for our veterans, and I’d like to see much more transparency in that reporting. I think Toby would be an advocate for that.”

The VA operates the nation’s largest health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals and other facilities.

The Cleveland Clinic is Ohio’s second largest employer.