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Bush to nominate new defense official for health


Feb 22, 2007 — WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush plans to replace the assistant defense secretary for health affairs, the White House said on Thursday, two days after a review was ordered into outpatient care for wounded troops.

The Pentagon said William Winkenwerder had planned to leave his post since last year and the announcement was not related to problems at the military's flagship Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, highlighted in recent press reports.

"This announcement has no bearing on current events whatsoever," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.

Bush plans to nominate S. Ward Casscells to replace Winkenwerder, the White House said.

Casscells now serves as medicine and public health professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

The nomination is subject to U.S. Senate confirmation.

The Bush administration ordered a review on Tuesday of the care of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan after The Washington Post reported that outpatients at Walter Reed were living in shoddy conditions and being neglected by officials.