VA Secretary Robert McDonald will be welcoming a key new advisor as he struggles to dig the Department of Veterans Affairs out from under a massive health IT-related scandal. Linda S. Schwartz, Connecticut State Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, will be moving to the federal level after the Senate confirmed the Air Force veteran and seasoned nurse to the post of Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning.
“I welcome Dr. Schwartz to our leadership team,” said Secretary McDonald. “Based on her decades of devotion and hard work on behalf of Veterans and Veterans’ causes, I know she will have an immediate impact in the Agency’s continued mission of serving the great men and women who have proudly worn this Nation’s uniform.”
Schwartz received her Master’s and Doctorate in nursing from Yale University and served in the Air Force on active duty and as a reservist from 1968 to 1986, retiring as a Major. She is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Nursing at the Yale School of Nursing. She was nominated last year to fill the vacant VA post, long before the scheduling scandal burst into the public eye, and will serve as principal advisor to Secretary McDonald during the restructuring and expansion of many VA facilities.
“It was very hard to watch what was going on in the VA without being in there,” Schwartz said to The Day. “I firmly believe I can do something to help. I’ve worked hard on the outside to change the VA. Now I have the opportunity to work on the inside.”