Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove was among prospective cabinet picks who met with President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday. Cosgrove is reportedly a contender to lead the Veterans Affairs Department.
Cosgrove and Luis Quinonez, the president of a company that provides healthcare services to the military, are the leading prospects for VA secretary, according to a Bloomberg report citing an anonymous source.
Trump has said he intends to carry out a complete overhaul of the department and its healthcare system, which two years ago was engulfed in a scandal over excessive wait times for veterans seeking care.
Cosgrove, 76, was under consideration for the cabinet post after Eric Shinseki resigned amid the scandal and the Obama administration sought someone who could solve the widespread problems identified in several federal reports. Cosgrove took himself out of the running before President Barack Obama picked former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald.
A surgeon by training, Cosgrove has worked for the Cleveland Clinic since 1975 and has been its CEO since 2004. The organization has more than $7 billion in annual revenue and operates nine regional hospitals, 21 family health and ambulatory surgery centers, a brain-health facility in Las Vegas, a hospital campus in Florida and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a multispecialty facility that opened in 2015.
He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service as the U.S. Air Force's chief of casualty staging flights during the Vietnam War.
Cosgrove has been named to Modern Healthcare's annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare 10 times.
Earlier this month Trump named Cosgrove to a panel assembled to advise the new administration on improving the U.S. economy.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said Quinonez is CEO of IQ Management, which he described as “a multibillion-dollar company related to military and healthcare issues with 2,200 direct medical staff and a network of 25,000 physicians and close to 8,000 pharmacists.”