PHOENIX (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald travels to Phoenix on Friday to visit a VA hospital for the first time since taking over the embattled agency late last month.
Reports that dozens of people died while waiting to see a doctor and that employees covered up long wait times at the Phoenix VA helped touch off a national firestorm over veteran care. The former VA secretary was forced to resign.
McDonald, a former Procter and Gamble CEO who took the top VA post July 30, has pledged to "transform" the agency. He has said improving patient access to health care is a priority, along with restoring transparency, accountability and integrity.
Veterans Affairs employs more than 310,000 people and provides health care for nearly 9 million enrolled veterans.