Dr. Jeffrey Murawsky, the president's nominee to succeed Robert Petzel as undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for health, has since 2001 supervised one of the hospitals linked to the scandal over bad medical care.
Murawsky is currently network director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network for the Great Lakes region, which includes Edward Hines Jr. VA hospital in Chicago. The AP reported May 15 that the hospital made secret lists to conceal long patient wait times for appointments.
Prior to a promotion within the VA, Murawsky spent almost five years as a senior administrator at the hospital, from 2001-2006.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., called for the investigation into the alleged secret waiting lists to be expanded to include the Chicago hospital, saying, "The inspector general should immediately broaden its investigation to include Hines VA and deliver a swift and immediate report."
Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix hospital that triggered the investigation, also served as director of Hines VA from 2010 to 2012. Helman worked for Murawsky in that capacity.
The Senate has not yet taken up Murawsky's nomination.
White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the choice on Monday, saying, "As required by law, he was one of the finalists recommended by a formal commission that included outside health experts and researchers, as well as representatives from veteran service organizations."