(CNN) – A top aide to President Barack Obama will assist officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs conduct a review of agency procedures after accusations of deadly delays in care at some hospitals.
Obama said he had tasked Rob Nabors, his deputy chief of staff, to assist VA leaders, including Secretary Eric Shinseki, in conducting their audit of clinics nationwide.
"America has a sacred trust with the men and women who serve our country in uniform - one that continues when they come home - and we must do everything to keep that trust," Obama said in a statement Wednesday, adding it was essential "we get to the bottom of what happened" at a VA hospital in Phoenix, where some veterans died while waiting for care.
"I'm grateful that Rob, one of my most trusted advisers, has agreed to work with Shinseki to help the team at this important moment," Obama said.
The VA problems have unfolded over the past weeks into a full-blown scandal for the agency, which is responsible for providing medical care for men and women who served in the armed forces.
Since November, CNN has uncovered delays in care at VA facilities across the country where numerous VA staffers have stepped forward to allege dangerously long wait times and efforts by VA officials to cover them up.
The VA has previously admitted that 23 veterans passed away because of delays, and 53 others had adverse health effects at VA facilities across the country.
In the wake of CNN's reporting, Shinseki announced a nationwide review of wait times and access to care for veterans. He's also asked the VA inspector general to conduct an independent review of clinic delays in Phoenix.
Some veterans groups, including the American Legion, have called for Shinseki's resignation, though the White House has said Obama maintains full confidence in the West Point graduate's ability to lead the agency.
Shinseki said on Wednesday, "I welcome Rob's perspective in helping us to ensure veterans have access to timely quality health care."
Nabors is a longtime aide to Obama, previously serving as legislative affairs director and deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. A White House official noted on Wednesday he's also the son of an Army veteran.
The move echoes Obama's decision in the wake of last fall's healthcare.gov debacle to appoint a top adviser to help troubleshoot the flawed website. Jeff Zients, then Obama's choice to lead the National Economic Council, led a team that ultimately fixed the website and surpassed enrollment expectations.