President George W. Bush named University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala co-chair of a commission to investigate problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, along with former Senator Bob Dole. The announcement was made Tuesday.
“I am truly honored that President Bush has asked Senator Bob Dole and me to co-chair the commission that will review the care and services provided to our returning wounded service members,” Shalala said in a email statement issued by UM Media Relations.
The Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors will also examine whether similar problems exist at other military and veterans hospitals.
“The healthcare system for soldiers has to be a perfectly rung system,” Shalala said. “We’re going to look at that whole system, and that is the assignment from the President.”
In February, The Washington Post reported on substandard conditions and a confusing bureaucracy for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan at an outpatient facility at Walter Reed, according to an article from CNN.com.
Shalala said that the healthcare system in the U.S. is very fragmented and the military hospital system must take some of the responsibility.
“We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our fellow Americans who are serving our country in some of the most dangerous parts of the world,” Shalala’s statement said.