Ex-VA head Shulkin to discuss serving presidents, state of public service at Rutgers event

File photo Dr. David Shulkin, center, was Veterans Affairs secretary under President Donald Trump for about a year.

Dr. David Shulkin, the ninth secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will share insights about his service to two presidents and the current state of public service at an event Dec. 2 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

The event, which is part of a tour for his book, “It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Serve Your Country,” is free of charge. The first 100 people who register will get a free copy of his book.

This event is being coordinated by Scarlet Startups, in collaboration with Rutgers University as well as James Barrood and the Princeton Tech Meetup.

Barrood is thrilled the well-respected health care leader and health care entrepreneur, who once served as president of Morristown Medical Center, is coming to the state.

“I’m delighted we were able to secure David for this event,” he said. “Dr. Shulkin is simply an extraordinary leader who has experience as an entrepreneur and as an innovator.  Among health care leaders he is a rarity. Perhaps more importantly, he’s genuinely a good guy. That’s what makes his personal story all the more fascinating.

“After making great strides rehabilitating the VA, his shortened tenure highlights the shortsighted decisions made by a rather unusual administration.”

Shulkin was named an undersecretary at the VA by former President Barack Obama in July 2015, joining an embattled agency that was being criticized for a number of issues, including long wait times. He was elevated to secretary by President Donald Trump in March 2017, shortly after Trump took office. He was dismissed in March 2018.

Shulkin is expected to address a number of issues, Barrood said, noting that U.S. veterans face a number of challenges in the country today — from chronic homelessness to mental health issues and PTSD to a chaotic and understaffed VA. While technology has evolved to keep up with the needs of the United States military, the same change and care for veterans are often regarded as lagging behind.

The event starts at 4 p.m. with Shulkin’s keynote. A question-and-answer session will immediately follow.

For more information, or to register, click here.