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Sanford Hires Canned VA Director Shulkin

Hard-hitting investigative news source Sioux Falls Business with Jodi Schwann vigorously refuted the “sad” and “scurrilous” rumors that Kelby Krabbenhoft had lost the CEO-ship of Sanford Health over bad behavior. Krabbenhoft is clearly in charge and able to hire a new chief innovation officer whose bad behavior was a bit more than a sad and scurrilous rumor:

President Trump’s former Veterans Affairs Secretary, who left under an ethics cloud, has taken a top job with Sanford Health.

David Shulkin is joining Sanford as chief innovation officer.

“Secretary Shulkin is one of the most talented health care leaders in the country, and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Sanford Health,” says Sanford Health President Kelby Krabbenhoft, “His unique perspective, clinical expertise and powerful voice will further Sanford Health’s continued development and diversification…” [Mark Russo, “Controversial Former VA Chief Joins Sanford Health,” KELO Radio, 2018.09.11].

Shulkin’s bad behavior came to light in February:

The 150-page report from the Office of the Inspector General revealed significant deficiencies, including:

  • Patients receiving unnecessary or prolonged anesthesia.
  • Problems in maintaining sterile instruments and equipment for medical use.
  • Lack of accurate inventory of supplies and equipment that led to more government spending, while 500,000 overstocked items sat at a warehouse.
  • Patient records and personally identifiable information stored in unsecured areas [Amanda Macias and Dan Mangan, “How Veterans Affairs Department Secretary David Shulkin Fell from Grace,” CNBC, 2018.03.28].

That report also found Shulkin took his wife to Europe on the taxpayers’ dimes. Shulkin rejects that claim and told NPR last March that Trump pushed him out of the VA because he opposed Trump’s plan to privatize veterans’ health care, not because of his ethical lapses:

“There are many political appointees in the VA that believe that we are moving in the wrong direction or weren’t moving fast enough toward privatizing the VA,” he said. “I think that it’s essential for national security and for the country that we honor our commitment by having a strong VA. I was not against reforming VA, but I was against privatization.”

Those political forces may be why Shulkin says he wasn’t allowed to speak out to defend himself against an ethics controversy over use of funds on a trip to Europe that he says was overhyped and intended to weaken him [Laura Wamsley and Scott Neuman, “Fired VA Secretary Says White House Muzzled Him,” NPR: The Two-Way, 2018.03.29].

KELO Radio says Shulkin will get to use his connections promoting Sanford’s domestic and international projects.


  1. jerry 2018-09-12

    Bravo to Sanford Health! They got themselves a very good man. Comrade trump and the vulture capitalists want desperately to privatized the VA, Mr. Shulkin put the skids to that for the time being. As a combat wounded disabled veteran, I checked into Mr. Shulkin with much interest. Sanford got a prize that is for sure and there future expansions look fantastic with this move.

    (AP Photo/José Luis Magaña)
    David Shulkin

    “On March 28, the day after President Trump fired him, David Shulkin, the outgoing secretary of veterans affairs, took to The New York Times to warn of the creeping privatization that has long plagued the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The Prospect has lamented Shulkin’s efforts to outsource more care to the private sector as well as his failure to strongly and effectively defend the VHA in the media and congressional hearings. Nonetheless, Shulkin is to be commended for now warning that “privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans.””

  2. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., 2018-09-12

    I think we all remember Trump’s rather awkward document signing ceremony right after his inauguration. And here is a brief walk back into time to it, when all were happy with the VA’s future.

    How times change, however. As you watch this video, look at how many personalities or mentioned names in this video are no longer a part of the Trump White House:

    FF: 06:00

  3. jerry 2018-09-12

    The billion dollar merger Sanford has going is probably as good of reason as any to bring in a seasoned businessman like Shulkin.

    “Krabbenhoft is expanding Sanford at a robust pace.

    Its merger with The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society now will be done in November instead of January.

    “It’s all hands on deck with Good Sam and Sanford,” he said.

    Good Samaritan had been streamlining operations, and “I think they’ve seen the merger implications will allow that to happen probably in a way that is less traumatic for the organization but also include a growth equivalent or element that really wasn’t there before, and that’s why it’s such a win-win for both organizations.”

    The national Good Samaritan footprint already is bringing Sanford into new markets, including the Phoenix and Orlando areas, as well as Rapid City.

    Krabbenhoft met with the CEO of Rapid City Regional Hospital a few weeks ago, and today Sanford hosted a group of Rapid City community leaders in Sioux Falls to learn more about Sanford’s research, insurance company and children’s hospital.”

    These are big deals that need focused people who can make things happen in a big way. South Dakota could see more competition with better outcomes in the west river part of our world.

  4. OldSarg 2018-09-12

    Folks, folks folks! Lets get back on topic!

    “Sanford Hires Canned VA Director Shulkin” why are we attacking someone Trump fired? Stick with the program. We are all supposed to attack anyone Trump “hires” not fires. Geez!

  5. Porter Lansing 2018-09-12

    Good to see that you’ve assimilated, finally … what’s your first name, again??

  6. OldSarg 2018-09-12

    I’m feeling better Porter after surrendering my soul. Early this mornin’ when he knocked upon my door and I said ‘hello Satan’ I believe it’s time to go and my guitar playing is phenomenal .

  7. jerry 2018-09-12

    Shulkin is a good move for South Dakota and for Sanford. This is the kind of guy needed to help run this billion dollar merger. We veterans respect and honor him, including one of the directors of the American Legion on the Russian firing:

    “This is salacious conspiracy, and it’s treason,” said Louis Celli, national director of veterans affairs for the American Legion, the country’s largest veterans group. The organization’s leaders recently informed the White House that, if necessary, they will gather members to picket outside with signs bearing the names of those they want removed.

    Shulkin has sought to fire at least six of his senior managers and said as recently as Wednesday that he has assurances from White House chief of staff John F. Kelly that terminating disloyal staffers is within his authority. Administration officials dispute this, however, saying Kelly has rebuffed such efforts.” Washington Post -3/-9/2018

    Good move Sanford! Easy to see why your company is doing so well.

  8. OldSarg 2018-09-12

    I agree jerry! As a pior 11B and then switching branches I think keeping all medical care within the realm of ONLY having federal employees that don’t have to perform allows me to receive the best standardized allowable medical care possible. Doing silly things like branching out into areas of modern health care is like gambling. Excuse me, I have an appointment to be bled tomorrow so I need my rest. Good night. Thanks for the support.

  9. jerry 2018-09-12

    Russian, you’re a liar.

  10. grudznick 2018-09-12

    Admittedly off the topic where Mr. OldSarg is schooling a pool of you libbies, why is it that Mr. H has not started a blogging about how Mr. Nelson, Stacey, got his hat handed to him over there in Pierre today on the internet mainstreet being fair deal? Mr. Nelson really screwed the pooch today, I am told.

  11. Debbo 2018-09-12

    Often the Blonde Bimbo in the WH fired the good ones. He’s usually kept the most reprehensible. Being fired from the current deministration is not necessarily a bad thing. I trust Jerry’s research and knowledge. Thanks Jerry.

  12. OldSarg 2018-09-12

    Debbo and larry, I mean jerry, you guys are right again! Russians are liars and Bimbos make the hiring decisions! I’m feeling a lot better on your side of these issues. It’s like I have found a whole new sense of freedom living within the world of trashing those bastards who are making our personal lives to horrible. I hate what kavanaugh and trumpeter have done to me. What do you think we should trash next? Lets go after someone who doesn’t have the sense to stand upright! Where is mike from iowa tonight? We could use his help. make it a whole “team effort” and all. Man, I think I’m out of gum. I’ll be back.

  13. jerry 2018-09-12

    Sanford did well in recruiting Dr. David Shulkin. Here is a little bit about him and the enormous task that he administered:

    “Shulkin currently oversees about 1,700 medical facilities and almost 300,000 federal workers in the department’s health system.

    Now he’ll be charged with looking after the entire $177-billion agency, not only the health care aspects but also benefits delivery and a host of other support programs.

    Prior to his time at VA, Shulkin worked as president and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and spent many years as a top health care official at numerous Philadelphia research hospitals.

    If confirmed by the Senate, the 57-year-old Shulkin will become the first non-veteran to oversee the department or any of its predecessor agencies. Over the last 94 years, each of the 26 other men to serve in the job boasted military experience.

    Shulkin comes from an Army family, and was born on an Army base in Illinois. His father served as an Army psychiatrist, and during his 2015 confirmation hearing he noted his military upbringing “has sensitized me to the psychological and medical needs of those who served our country.”” Military Times 01/11/2017

    The guy is a real organizer and will be needed with the merger, Sanford did good.

  14. Steve Pearson 2018-09-17

    The Sanford CEO is going to be out soon and then all of you will know. CAH should look into a Sanford assistant and her pregnancy. Also, assistant’s husband now all of a sudden promotion and money.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-17

    Whoa, Steve—that’s pretty drastic stuff to say. Do you have evidence to back up your allegations? Names, dates, contracts? I hesitate to look into baseless allegations… and I certainly don’t publish them.

  16. Steve Pearson 2018-09-17

    Nope, I have direct verbal information so you’ll need to look into it. Sorry but I am not asking to publish anything. I am putting the pieces together so all you have to do it get the actual names.

  17. Steve Pearson 2018-09-17

    This will give you an actual chance to do real investigative work for once.

  18. Porter Lansing 2018-09-17

    Real investigative work on Steve Pearson would no doubt reveal more interesting background information. Hmmmmm?

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-17

    I’ve done real investigative work many times before, Steve. And instead of drive-by postings of rumors, I’ve always been able to back up my claims.

Comments are closed.