- President Trump recently announced Robert Wilkie will be the next VA secretary nominee in the running to replace former VA Secretary David Shulkin and spearhead the agency during its Cerner EHR implementation, according to CNN.
Wilkie is the second official nominee chosen by President Trump to fill the current vacancy for VA secretary. Trump’s first nominee —Navy Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson — withdrew as nominee after allegations surfaced about Jackson’s professional conduct and managerial abilities.
Wilkie is currently serving as Department of Defense (DoD) undersecretary. He has also been serving as the VA acting secretary since Shulkin was removed from his post at the head of the federal department in March.
"Acting Secretary Wilkie — who, by the way, has done an incredible job at the VA, and I'll be informing him in a little while, he doesn't know this yet — that we're going to be putting his name up for nomination to be secretary of the Veterans Administration," Trump said, according to CNN.
As acting VA secretary, Wilkie has already played a significant role in carrying out the $10 billion Cerner EHR implementation at all VA care sites. VA officially signed the Cerner contract in mid-May after months of delay.
“I am pleased to announce we have signed a contract with Cerner today that will modernize the VA’s health care IT system and help provide seamless care to Veterans as they transition from military service to Veteran status, and when they choose to use community care,” said Wilkie in a public statement.
While the contract was at one time rumored to surpass $16 billion, the federal department stated the contract would have a $10 billion ceiling over ten years.
“With a contract of that size, you can understand why former Secretary Shulkin and I took some extra time to do our due diligence and make sure the contract does what the President wanted,” said Wilkie.