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Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Dole, Shalala vow 'vigorous' review of Walter Reed

Democrat Donna Shalala and Republican Bob Dole will head a commission on problems at military hospitals.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and ex-Cabinet member Donna Shalala vowed Wednesday to carry out a "vigorous" review of health care for recovering Iraq and Afghan war veterans, focusing primarily at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

President Bush asked Dole and Shalala this week to lead his Presidential Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warrior. Their reports are due June 30.

White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters Wednesday that seven other panel members will be appointed as soon as possible.

"We're going to do the best we can to make certain that those young men and women who served are properly cared for when they come home, and then properly transitioned after their care is complete," said Dole, the GOP presidential nominee in 1996, who lost to Bill Clinton.

The former senator from Kansas quoted Bush as saying he will be "personally involved" with the commission.

Dole, who was wounded in World War II, noted at a joint news conference with Shalala that both of them have worked closely with veterans.

Shalala, now president of the University of Miami, was secretary of health and humans services in the Clinton administration.

Dole said the commission will coordinate its review with Congress and an interagency task force of seven Cabinet secretaries named by Bush to determine what can be done immediately to improve veterans' care. That task force is led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson.
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