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VA Secretary Robert McDonald to announce new committee to improve VA services

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on the Department of Veterans Affairs budget.

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald is announcing the creation of a new advisory committee with leaders from the private sector, non-profits and the government that will focus on improving the VA's service to veterans, according to a White House official.

McDonald will make the announcement during the president's visit to the Phoenix VA Friday.

The new committee is tasked with advising the VA on how it can improve its customer service and improve patient outcomes for veterans, and "set the course for longer-term excellence and reform," the official said in a statement.

According to the White House, the members come from a variety of backgrounds, including veterans groups, customer service, health sciences and academics. The president will hold a roundtable discussion with McDonald, Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson, veterans, VA employees, members of Congress and veterans groups.