(Editor's note: This report was updated at 4:40 p.m. with comments from Brian Gragnolati of Atlantic Health System and at 5:20 with additional information.)
David Shulkin, former president of Morristown Medical Center and former vice president at Atlantic Health System, was picked by President-elect Donald Trump to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, according to multiple reports.
The position, which requires Senate confirmation, is a step up from his current position as undersecretary for health at the VA.
Shulkin was named to his current post by President Barack Obama in 2015 after Robert Petzel resigned following reports of dubious practices endangering the lives of veterans in Phoenix.
During a panel on opioid abuse late last year in New Jersey, Shulkin spoke about the struggles of the VA and shared areas in which the department was leading the country in handling medical issues.
“I was very enthusiastic when I saw the news, and greatly encouraged to see that a physician has been nominated to lead services for our nation’s veterans," said Brian A. Gragnolati, CEO and president of Atlantic Health System. "I have known David Shulkin for many years, and worked with him directly here at Atlantic Health System. He has the tenacity, knowledge and passion to affect meaningful change. I know that his experience and success as undersecretary of health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will serve him well as he continues his vital work to support our veterans.”
Shulkin was president of Morristown Medical Center from 2010 to 2015 and played a vital role in the formation of the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization, according to an Atlantic Health spokesman. During his tenure as president, the hospital gained national recognition from U.S News & World Report.