Cleveland Clinic CEO won't seek job as next VA secretary

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, President and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, says he won't leave his job to become the next VA Secretary.

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WASHINGTON -- The CEO of one of Ohio's top hospitals says he's told the White House that he's not leaving his job to become veterans affairs (VA) secretary.

Dr. Toby Cosgrove of the Cleveland Clinic issued a statement Saturday saying he is honored to have been considered for the post but has decided to remain with the nonprofit medical center.

The White House has not issued any statements on candidates to replace Eric Shinseki as veteran affairs secretary. News media have reported that Cosgrove was under consideration to head up the VA.

Shinseki resigned a growing scandal at VA hospitals around the country that included reports of veterans waiting many months to see doctors at some VA facilities and allegations of faked reports of shorter wait times. After an interim report was released by the VA Office of the Inspector General found that 1,700 veterans were waiting for a primary care appointment but were not found on any waiting list at a Phoenix VA facility, Shinseki lost the confidence of many Republican and Democratic members of Congress who called on him to step down.

Just last week acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said that an additional 18 veterans in the Phoenix area whose names were kept off an official electronic waiting list have died.