Paralyzed Veterans of America Executive Director Homer S. Townsend, Jr., made the following statement regarding the nomination of Robert McDonald, to serve as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs:
“We are cautiously optimistic about the nomination, knowing that this is a difficult position for anyone and tremendous hurdles lie ahead.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs is tasked to provide advanced care, technologies, and continuity of services for catastrophically disabled veterans who rely on the holistic environment of specialized services that VA provides. Timely care and continued availability of these services is critical to Paralyzed Veterans and our members, and we hope that ensuring the protection of specialized services will be a priority of the new Secretary. We welcome the opportunity to work with him and will engage him early and often.
“Further, we hope that corrections made regarding access are real and relevant, not superficial, focusing first on ensuring that all veterans currently waiting for treatment, and those who would be forced to wait for care in the near future, are provided timely, convenient health care as quickly as medically indicated.”
McDonald is an Army veteran and former CEO of Proctor & Gamble. He graduated in 1975 in the top 2 percent of his class at West Point, and then served five years in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He was named President and CEO of Proctor & Gamble in 2009, and Chairman of the Board in 2010.
If confirmed, McDonald will become the eighth Secretary of Veterans Affairs, replacing Eric K. Shinseki who resigned in May after five years.
Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the “Greatest Generation” of World War II. They created a nonprofit organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s—from a medical community not ready to treat them to an inaccessible world. For more than 68 years, Paralyzed Veterans’ national office and its 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. (www.pva.org)