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Cleveland Clinic executive declines VA secretary job

Cleveland Clinic CEO Delos 'Toby' Cosgrove
Cleveland Clinic CEO Delos 'Toby' Cosgrove
Saul Loeb/AFP

Cleveland Clinic CEO Delos 'Toby' Cosgrove will not become the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, a role the White House asked him to consider last week.

"I am humbled and honored to have been considered for the opportunity to help Veterans across the United States. This is an enormous responsibility and one that deserved careful thought and consideration. As a physician, veteran, and hospital chief executive, I have great respect for the care provided to the Veteran community and for those who work to care for them," Cosgrove said in a statement.

Cosgrove, a surgeon and a veteran himself, has been with the Cleveland Clinic since 1975. "This has been an extraordinarily difficult decision, but I have decided to withdraw from consideration from this position and remain at the Cleveland Clinic, due to the commitment I have made to the organization, our patients and the work that still needs to be done here," he said.

Former secretary Eric Shinseki resigned at the end of May amidst an ongoing scandal at the VA. Administrators and officials at multiple VA facilities are accused of obfuscating scheduling practices and lying about wait times.

Sloan D. Gibson is the current Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs.