5 Things Next V.A. Secretary Should Tackle

With White House physician Ronny L. Jackson’s nomination to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs withdrawn, here are five things that veterans advocates and experts say are the most urgent needs a new VA secretary must address to successfully run the $200 billion agency that serves 9 million.

1. Fill vacancies
The next VA secretary must fully staff the agency. That means hiring the still-unfilled key jobs of undersecretary for health, undersecretary for benefits and chief information officer, in control of medical records. “The VA secretary’s job is not to do everything. But it’s to build the best team that can get it all done. If that doesn’t happen, it creates a ripple that hurts veterans,” said Max Stier, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service.

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