PHOENIX (AP) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald visited a VA hospital Friday for the first time since taking over the embattled agency last month.

Reports that dozens of people died while waiting to see a doctor and that employees covered up long wait times at the Phoenix VA helped touch off a national firestorm over veteran care. The former VA secretary was forced to resign.

McDonald, a former Procter and Gamble CEO who took the top VA post July 30, met with veterans, hospital employees and caregivers during his Phoenix visit.

He promised to regain trust by changing the culture of the organization. He held up a button that employees are wearing under his leadership that promises to uphold the agency's mission of putting vets first.