100 Most Influential People in Healthcare – 2016
Secretary, U.S. Veterans Affairs Department
- Compensation: $199,700 - according to Federal executive schedule
- Years on list: 3
Two years after Veterans Affairs facilities were found to keep patients waiting excessively for appointments and covering up the problem with falsified paperwork, McDonald still faces frequently hostile receptions from lawmakers looking for more heads to roll at the VA and more proof of improvement. McDonald has laid out a plan for improving access to care and customer service at the agency, but says he still faces staffing shortages. He has focused on consolidating and improving the programs that veterans use to seek care outside of VA facilities. The agency recently announced the recipients of a $22.3 million contract to overhaul VA information technology systems.