Dr. David J. Shulkin and LaVerne Horton Council today took the oath of office where they will serve respectively as Under Secretary for Health and Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and Chief Information Officer for the VA.  Both were nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate on June 23.

“Dr. Shulkin and Ms. Council bring stellar experience and exceptionally strong leadership to their posts,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “Both will play critical roles in making VA a stronger organization for America’s Veterans, and I am looking forward to working with them.”

Dr. Shulkin comes to VA immediately from the position of President at Morristown Medical Center, Goryeb Children’s Hospital and Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, part of Atlantic Health System. Prior to joining Morristown Medical Center and Atlantic Health, Dr. Shulkin served as President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, where he led a financial turnaround and rebuild of the $1.3 billion organization.

Dr. Shulkin also has served in numerous physician leadership roles at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University Hospital and the Medical College of Pennsylvania Hospital. He is a board-certified internist, a fellow of the American College of Physicians, Professor of Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow at the Health Research and Education Trust of the American Hospital Association. He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed his internship at Yale University School of Medicine.

As Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Shulkin will direct a health care system with an annual discretionary budget of approximately $60 billion, overseeing the delivery of care to more than 9 million enrolled Veterans. VA, the nation’s largest health care system, employs more than 350,000 total employees including over 305,000 health care professionals and support staff at more than 1,200 sites of care, including hospitals, community based outpatient clinics, nursing homes, domiciliaries and 300 Vet Centers.

Ms. Council most recently held the positions of CEO at Council Advisory Services, LLC and Chair of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes. In December 2011, she retired from Johnson & Johnson after serving as Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Johnson & Johnson’s global IT group. In this capacity, she was responsible for managing IT and related systems for the $61.6 billion Johnson & Johnson worldwide enterprise. She was a member of the Corporate Global Operating Committee and her organization included more than 250 operating companies with more than 4,000 information technology employees and 7,000 contractors.

Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Ms. Council was Global Vice President for IT, Global Business Solutions, and Development Services for Dell, Inc. She also was previously a partner with Ernst and Young and led the company’s Global Supply Chain Strategy practice.

Ms. Council earned a Master’s of Business Administration  in Operations Management from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business from Western Illinois University. In 2010, Ms. Council was presented with a Doctorate of Business Administration, Honoris Causa from Drexel University.

As VA’s Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology and CIO, Ms. Council is the single leadership authority for IT and is the principal advisor to the Secretary on all matters relating to the management of VA’s Office of Information and Technology. She will oversee VA’s $4 billion IT portfolio and more than 8,000 IT employees.

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Published on Jul. 6, 2015

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  1. DannyG July 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Dr. Shulkin & Ms. Council, Please excuse me for being rude & invading your “spotlight”. Welcome! I am not a big fan of the VETERANS Administration, but am an ally & supporter of Secretary McDonald. As you begin your new journeys, please know that many of us are rooting for you, depending on you, & trusting you, to do your best to make our healthcare system everything we were told it would be! Together, we can do it!

  2. DannyG July 14, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Why is everyone looking for negative stuff? We all know the stories; we live them every day! Instead of complaining, pissing & moaning, let’s all pick a date & STAND UP FOR OURSELVES. Against my better judgment, I am leaving my email address; if you are interested in standing up & telling the politicians you’re sick & tired of being mistreated, contact me. BUT KNOW THIS: Anyone messing with me will be turned in for cyber harassment. If you don’t believe me, Google it. dannyg55@centurylink.net
    STOP CRYING & STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES! We are a family of American Veterans, nobody can beat us!!!

  3. crazyelf July 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    As far as the “Choice Program” goes. You might want to investigate where the money is going. Haven’t y’all heard, it’s been gutted. There’s no longer $10 billion in it for veterans. $5 billion is being used for veterans with hepatitis C. Seems there is a cure only found in the civilian healthcare system that cures this disease. The VA wants these veterans to get the help they need. Therefore other vets may have to wait their turn. Sad but that’s my opinion over this “Choice Program”! Remember the slogan many have said, when it comes to VA- deny, deny, deny until you die die die.

    There’s a great website out there that keeps veterans informed, it’s–
    disabled veterans dot org
    Check it out. There’s a great deal of information on it. There’s also, Stars and Stripes, which has been extremely critical over VA. goggle Veterans Administration negative Press. And see what’s comes up, y’all will be amazed, I promise you!

  4. crazyelf July 10, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I hope Dr. Shulkin can do something with this broken VA Healthcare System. It’s broken and all the higher ups care about is their “Bonuses”, they sure don’t give a s#!t about veterans. That’s been proven time and time again and again.
    We have so many PCD’s, nurses, physician assistants etc., etc, etc. just taking up space and collecting taxpayers money. When one does find a great doctor, they either are treated poorly by the administration. Or they quit after a short time because they refuse to be intimidated or any other negative work arena.

  5. Don bechtel July 9, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Contact every senator and representative in you’re particular state and tell them your situation

  6. Ralph Maddox July 7, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    I do understand your frustration Sir. I went through the same thing. Finally get squared away with “Choice”. It IS your treating facility that makes you eligible. Either due to the mileage or hardship transportation. However, I found out that IF your facility does not provide the necessary type of care, ie. Oncology, then you qualify under what is called PC3. I got to choice due to my VA Facility does not have Neurology. I too went through HELL getting anyone that knows what the deal is. Anyway, the “Fee Basis” at your facility will be the one that notifies Choice that you are eligible. I would recommend that you get your Senator involved if you can’t get them to straighten this crap out. If your Non VA providers are willing, I would ask them to be patient and that the VA will reimburse them for your car. I say that because I know of no VA Facility that offers Oncology or Cancer treatments. This alone will qualify you for Choice and /or PC3. I will add that I get daily reports from the Inspector General, sign up at website. And they do have issues with the Contractors that are handling the PC3 program. But they say it will get right soon.
    Sir, I am not a VA rep. or anything like that. I am just a Vet. that has gone through the BS GAME too. All I can do is offer anything that I learned from my own dealings with the VA. Good Luck Sir.
    BTW I am the son of a Retired Marine, Born at Barstow Marine Base, Barstow, Ca. SEMPER FI

  7. Carl Swiger July 7, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I am a Honorably Discharged Disabled Marine Corps Veteran. I have cancer. I have been lied to by the VA. A month ago I was told by my PCP that my request to use the Choice program had been denied. Today I found that a request had never been submitted. I contacted Choice. They informed me that they are not responsible for determining whether or not a person is eligible to use the program. I was told by them that the my local VA clinic does that. I then called the local clinic and they told me that they do not make the determination, that the VA in Cleveland does. I called them, they told me that they don’t do that and that someone else does. I called them…etc. till I have made a complete circle, back to where I started. No one will take responsibility, therefore no one is accountable. So much for the Accountability Act. In the meantime, I guess it is my problem, according to my primary ‘ nurse. I have done the calling and contacting. It doesn’t work because they are not accountable.
    Here is my story: I went to the local VA clinics because of pain in my throat and ear. My primary found nothing, upon examination, and said he’s wanted to send me all the way to Cleveland (Wade Park) to see a specialist. I told him that I wanted to use the choice program and see a local specialist. He laughed at me. When I asked him why he was laughing, he said that nobody ever gets approved to use that program. I told him to make the request anyway. I then paid out of pocket for a second opinion at a local ENT specialist. After he performed the same examination, he told me that I had a what looked like a tumor the size of an almond in my throat where my tonsils had been, and there was a good possibility that it could be cancerous. So he scheduled me for a CT scan. When I got home, I immediately called my primary at the clinic and told his nurse what had occurred. I then asked about my request. He informed me that it was denied and if I did not use the hospital in Cleveland, then that was my problem. When it is determined that I do, in fact, have cancer, does the VA expect me to travel to Cleveland for any subsequent surgery and treatments? I guess my primary was right. This program is a joke. After calling numerous VA offices and the Choice program people, no one will claim the responsibility for denying my request. Now I find out from my patient advocate that my primary didn’t even submitted the request. This is total BS.
    Since then, I have paid out of pocket for the local ENT specialist, the CT scan, the biopsy, the pain meds, and am currently scheduled for radiation treatments at Mercy Medical Center Radiation / Oncology. I’m probably going to have to sell my truck and sell our home because the VA won’t step up and do the right thing. I have already paid out of pocket to determine that I do have cancer. All I’m asking is to be able to use the Choice Program for the treatment locally. SEMPER FIDELIS

  8. Ronald Nesler July 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    How may I contact Under Secretary Shulkin?

Comments are closed.

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