Mr. Shulkin is currently the under secretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which means he runs the Veterans Health Administration. He was nominated for that position by President Barack Obama in March 2015, and confirmed by the Senate that June. Shulkin, who is a physician, was the chief executive or chief medical officer of several hospitals and hospital systems. He's also an entrepreneur who founded a healthcare information company called DoctorQuality.
Read the AAAS letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee, David Shulkin.
Why is this department important to the science community?
The Department of Veterans Affairs faces major challenges in meeting its mission to care for our nation's courageous veterans. Advances in prosthetics and our understanding of complex mental health issues, including through research funded by the Department, have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life for those returning from combat. Advancing treatments requires directed research in these areas, but also draws on new insights from basic research across disciplines. Materials science advances can lead to lighter weight prosthetics and better batteries; fundamental work on the human brain can lead to better brain-machine interfaces for controling prosthetics and identify biological aspects of mental health disorders. Programs supported by careful scientific research can return significant benefits to those the Departmentl serves, and deserves robust Department support.