MyVA: Modernizing VA through Veteran-centered transformation


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On Thursday, Jan. 21, VA Secretary Bob McDonald appeared before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to discuss VA’s transformation strategy, specifically examining the plan to modernize VA. McDonald took the opportunity to discuss VA’s transformation plan, MyVA.

According to the Secretary, “MyVA is about fulfilling the nation’s obligation to those who have served and that they share our vision for VA to become the #1 customer-service agency in the government.”

McDonald explained to members of the committee the framework to transform all of VA “by combining functions, simplifying operations, and providing Veterans care and services so that they see VA as MyVA—a world-class, customer-focused, Veteran-centered service organization.” There are five critical MyVA objectives.

 

MyVA

 

“We know that VA has significant issues that need to be addressed—so we’re listening to others’ perspectives and investing in our people,” McDonald said. That includes working collaboratively with world-class institutions to capture ideas and best practices, as well as listening to key stakeholders, even those who are critical of VA.

A number of military and industry experts have provided their feedback on MyVA and the VA transformation process.

“I’m very pleased to see the progress made by VA in the last year and I believe this plan will deliver real change for our nation’s Veterans, ” said Joe Robles, former president and chief executive officer of USAA. Robles, a retired U.S. Army major general, serves as chairman of the MyVA advisory committee.

Lourdes Tiglao is also a member of the advisory committee. “The differences I’ve seen each time I visited the VA as a patient have been palpable, and I’m very optimistic in the changes taking place,” she said. “The Veteran-centric model that the VA is adopting through the MyVA initiative is a significant step in the right direction.”

DAV’s national legislative director, Joy Ilem, said in a statement delivered to senators, “The Secretary came into VA during a crisis and a low point for the department and we acknowledge his hard work and that of his team to properly assess and lay out a comprehensive plan to improve systemic business practices as well as his dedication to the VA’s core mission of serving veterans and efforts to improve the veterans experience. DAV believes the Secretary’s plan is thoughtful and heading in the right direction. Most importantly it focuses, at its core, on the veteran, as it should.”

Teresa Carlson is vice president of the Worldwide Public Sector for Amazon Web Services and sits on the MyVA committee. “The MyVA initiative has made positive strides by putting the focus back on the Veterans. The VA’s transformation is an important step in ensuring that the agency can better serve our Veterans, and their families,” Carlson said.

“I have been impressed by the dedication and hard work of the MyVA committee to institute major changes that impact the culture and function of today’s VA in order to proudly serve our Veterans,” said Dr. E. Connie Mariano. Dr. Mariano retired as a rear admiral with the U.S. Navy and served as a White House physician from 1992 to 2001.

Army Veteran and West Point graduate Herman Bulls said he was “pleased to see that the MyVA vision lays out a plan for VA to improve its internal operations and interactions with key stakeholders…most importantly, our Veterans. If successful, it will greatly benefit Veterans and their families, employees and our nation.”

During the hearing, Secretary McDonald highlighted 12 priorities designed to improve the delivery of timely care and benefits to Veterans – eight focused on Veteran experience and four internal-facing reforms to VA systems. “But make no mistake—all 12 are designed to improve the delivery of timely care and benefits to Veterans,” McDonald explained.

MyVA

 

Read more about the ongoing work of the MyVA transformation and advisory committee here on Vantage Point.

Author

Megan Moloney

-- Megan joined VA in May 2013. She is the daughter, granddaughter and spouse of Army and Navy Veterans who served in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Comments

  1. james foster    

    i am a disable vet my r knee give out i fall on my r arm i ask for mri for almost 5 year i had to go to pashant afair to get now i haft to have sugery i now have open heart sugery and bad copd i am afrade to have sugery now the va in kcme has a 79% death rate after sugery i take care of my wife we only have each outher if thay would have gave me a mri 4 year ago i might not have been so bad off

    1. michael collins    

      I am a Vietnam Era Vet, but Blue Water Marine. Served on 3 different ships that are on the list for Agent Orange residual contamination. I am also a victim of Camp Lejeune (POISON) water contamination. With both exposure possibilities, the vehicle (radio) I drove when I served overseas Okinawa and Mt. Fuji, and water over there. How can they deny any Vet with health problem.

  2. francis m doyle    

    the VA is the still the biggest and most corrupt agency in this administration. this hearing is more smoke by the incompetent people running the VA if you go back three years and watched every hearing by the congress and senate on the VA and it is the same answers where they the VA is making big strides while at the same time veterans are committing suicide, $$$$$ BILLIONS OF TAXPAYER MONEY WENT INTO the twilight zone, veterans claims are still being lost or shredded. but these great people are still getting their bonuses while nothing has changed. nobody gets fired the president and his justice department will not start an investigation into the VA. after all these negative things by the VA are done every day you think the Obama administration would care for us veterans more than he does for the illegal aliens and the refugees.

    1. Mark Drake    

      This “transformation” happened in civilian health care over 15 years ago. Some call it SQI, Service Quality Improvement. It is a directed service to improve employed personnels and leaders “customer” service.
      This culture has been practiced in Retail services for decades to cultivate customers return to individual business because they, the customer, feels they are appreciated and served in a respectful and the most important client of the business. This is the way I operated my Business for years my customers, clients and employees were my most important asset. This culture not only benifits all associated with the business but the entire community. I see this culture changing the way the VA treats everyone,
      I hope this is a change that lasts. Many feel it is only a temporary project to smooth things over and make everyone “feel good”.
      This “New VA” will only succeed if this program is continually taught until the culture becomes second nature to all who work and are served by the VA.

  3. Jack H. Branch jr.    

    All of this may be well and good, but there is still unanswered questions. # 1- Of course our health care is most important,, ad I think we all agree on that. # 2- From my view more Drs. And Nurses. I can address this one from my last trip to the ER. at Mountain Home VA. Medical Center about 3 weeks ago. I had swelling in my left leg. We arrived at ER at 5.35 pm Christmas eve. Checked and waited about 1hr and half for triage. Then back to ER where I was put in what may have be a medium size closet space at one time. WE waited there around 45 minutes to and hr. before a nurse came in and put in an IV. she said would be in shortly. Well shortly turned into 2 hrs. maybe more.My wife said it was longer, because she checked the clock and it after 10.pm still no dr. Findaly he came in checked my leg and ordered a ultra sound. That was another hr. They took me down had it done back to ER. same little room, where we waited a long long time, the male nurse, came in said Dr was waiting to read results. My wife got fed up and caught the nurse coming down the hall, and told him to remove the IV. we where tired of waiting, and that I was diabectic and hadn,t eaten in a long. The nurse talked us out of leaving got my self and wife a diet drink and crackers for me and coke and crackers. Every nice man, and told us he was sorry we had to wait so long, but that the VA. only had one Dr. on duty and waiting room was full. Findaly I was told I had like blood clot not deep, was given 325MG Aspiran and stay off my feet. My wife said never again

  4. james ...f, boe    

    VA is wasting money with the appeals process take that money and pay the claims help the vets cut the overhead very few scamming the system if any way to much overhead but cutting that would raise a lot of push back from govt e]workers eh ?? with the biggest clout

  5. D'Ann Creel    

    This reminds me when the big haunchos would come to the command and give their “atta boy” and “aren’t we just the greatest” speeches…..yada yada yada yada….. blah blah blah. Cut the BS and make it work…. we’re tired of platitudes… tired of the run around…..FIX IT !

  6. ernie dinardo    

    how do I sue the company that is GETTING PAID FOR PROCESSING MY CLAIM AND NOW I FOUND OUT THEY HAVE OUR FILES STOCKED IN LIMBO SOMEWHERE !! I’ve been waiting 3 years to hear the outcome for my Claims, all I hear for the V.A.is “”IT STILL BEING PROCESSED””

  7. Richard Alverdes / US Navy retired    

    The VA has yet to resent their ruling on Agent Orange. It is a proven fact, that those military personnel who did not have “Boots on the ground” are just a prone to have Agent Orange related medical issues as those who where inland. It is a shame that McDonald is talking about revamping the VA but does not care about those of us who have Agent Orange related issues and are not being compensated for them. Shame on him!

    1. Linda Jensen    

      why are you using a company to process your claim? do it yourself just go to the VA Office and ask to speak to someone, If I were you I would fill out a new Claim use the claim number you have, If it hasn’t been kept active? your Case might not be active, because, of missed dead lines if it’s stuck somewhere you might be sitting there for nothing, no one is going to light a fire under VA for processing anything! I think they are waiting for people to Die so they don’t have to pay them, my Husband has been waiting 2 years

  8. Daniel Clement Crawford    

    The MyVA with its 12 Breakthrough Priorities Needs to be reviewed and 9-10-11-12 removed from this paradigm. The inclusion of the employee and the AFGE Union is taking away from the seperate priority of the first eight. A paradigm for Employee Experience – Staffing of Critical Positions – Transformation of Supply Chains should be designed seperately from My VA Objectives and Priorities.

    The VA has spent billions of dollars on Supply Chain related programs. One such was tested at Bay Pines, VAMC and failed in my opinion due to employee sabotage. The employees simply did not want to change. As a matter of fact the former Under Secy.of the VA, Robert Roswell was fired because of this extremely critical systems failure.

    DO NOT mix Employees issues with the Veterans issues.

    Daniel C. Crawford
    VFW POST 3229
    Senior Vice Commander
    Springville, Alabama

    1. DannyG    

      The unions have should NOT be allowed to use our caretakers to conduct union business on the taxpayer’s timeclock! NO WAY, NO HOW !!

  9. Mr. Earl T. Ewing    

    Transformation strategy, VA currently have one! The claims backlog, which was suppose to be eliminated by the
    end of 2015. Well, my claim is still pending at the Cleveland RO. Come Feb 5, 2016, my Remand would have been
    at the RO for three years and this is an eleven year old Appeal!!! More bull s_ _ _!!!!

  10. EARLY GRAHAM    

    SGT. MAJOR GRAHAM,FILE MY CLAIM BACK IN 2010 OF AUG , I NEVER HAVE A HEARING

  11. William h martin III    

    Im a 20 year Army vet ( infantry ) And MY care and treatments in the V A system have been WONDERFUL. Yeah… sometimes appointments have been difficult to get and once in a great while Iv’e met an employee that was a bone head.
    Frankly I’m sick and tired of my brother and sister’s veteran bitching and complaining about the V A . If you take into consideration the enormity of the system … and the amount of “customers ” The V A is doing a mighty fine job

  12. Howard E. Gordon    

    I am a disabled Vietnam vet. I had to take an early retirement for my engineering job of 30 years because i started feeling sick all the time. I had just turned 50. I received 14 operations at the V.A, hospital in Omaha. They ran test and found that i have Agent Orange poisoning. This was in 2007 and they declared me to be 100% unemployable. and the V.A. is compensating me. I found out that the chemical company that developed this poison that was in the drinking water in Vietnam gave out a little over three thousand dollars per soldier back in the 1990’s. Of course me and a lot of other soldiers did not receive any of the meager funds because it was discovered past the deadline that we had it. Then i found out that we could not suit the chemical company because of some agreement between that company and the U.S. government. Shame on you U.S. government! If i could have fore site, when i got my draft card, i would have defected rather than become infected. My body is riddled with what looks like cancer, i am way under weight, i have type 2 diabetes, i can only lay around every day and what is so ironic is, the U.S.A. gives billions of dollars to foreign countries at the drop of a hat.Shame to all presidents, and congressmen for being such cowards! put some real money in my pocket so i can perhaps travel and enjoy what meager life that i have left. The judges that voted down the bill to give out compensation were payed off!

  13. Howard E. Gordon    

    I am a disabled Vietnam vet. I had to take an early retirement for my engineering job of 30 years because i started feeling sick all the time. I had just turned 50. I received 14 operations at the V.A, hospital in Omaha. They ran test and found that i have Agent Orange poisoning. This was in 2007 and they declared me to be 100% unemployable. and the V.A. is compensating me. I found out that the chemical company that developed this poison that was in the drinking water in Vietnam gave out a little over three thousand dollars per soldier back in the 1990’s. Of course me and a lot of other soldiers did not receive any of the meager funds because it was discovered past the deadline that we had it. Then i found out that we could not suit the chemical company because of some agreement between that company and the U.S. government. Shame on you U.S. government! If i could have fore site, when i got my draft card, i would have defected rather than become infected. My body is riddled with what looks like cancer, i am way under weight, i have type 2 diabetes, i can only lay around every day and what is so ironic is, the U.S.A. gives billions of dollars to foreign countries at the drop of a hat.Shame to all presidents, and congressmen for being such cowards! put some real money in my pocket so i can perhaps travel and enjoy what meager life that i have left. The judges that voted down the bill to give out compensation were payed off!

    1. DannyG    

      Mr. Gordon, Thank you, brother. Also, I LIKE YOUR ATTITUDE.

  14. Tuckers Son    

    MY -VA, Nope! What the VA is doing to insure “Employee morale”” is simply “allowing” employees to “Work from home”, this way it’s easy to avoid the collective complaints and rebellions. In other words, “divide and conquer”. How could you form grievances and rebellion when you’re reduced to only a voice at a time>>>>

    Look at the Philadelphia RO….the “bosses” who were instrumental and/or caused the problems got a few months “Paid” vacation and are back in the same RO with managerial powers…or their hand picked underlings are.

    Also, what happened to the “Whistle-blowers”, they too have magically gone silent. Guess they were satisfied with their complaints being monetarily appeased?

    The system sucks!

  15. DannyG    

    I AM AN AMERICAN VETERAN NOT A CUSTOMER! And from these comments, it looks like others agree with me.

  16. Reginald Thomas    

    One of the main problems that is deeply rooted in the VA is the “fox in charge of the hen house”. The primary medical provider for veterans should not be employed by the VA. Choice Health Network is a step in the right direction; however, the VA still hampers our care and treatment under this method by maintaining and delaying the final approval of recommended care, i.e., Nov 3, 2015 an approved medical provider requested an urgent EMG/NCS for a condition involving my neck and right arm. The request has been bounced around in a prefect ping pong ball environment and still has not been scheduled through the Choice Health Network. This dilemma of the fox in charge of the hen house give the VA the perfect alibi and ability to hide veteran’s medical conditions.
    Our primary doctor should have the veteran’s health as number one with no connection or concerns about the other VA aspects. They should be held accountable to the Vet as well as the VA – legally and morally. They should not be protected under the VA umbrella that allow them to disregard conditions, prescribe poisonous drugs, and for failure of documentation. A private primary doctor should have access to all VA facilities via networked and should not be delayed when seeking approval for tests and treatment. Get rid of the fox in the hen house and you will fix a major issue, a check and balance system for the health care of veterans.

  17. Ruby Lowe    

    I am a widow of a veteran.My late husband served in the US Army sometime 1976.As he mentioned to me that the Army give him a flu shots when left army. After few years in his life he suffered Guillian Barre Syndrom known as (GBS) due to the flu shots that army has Givin him. He was hospitalized and paralyzed for a year he just tried to fight because of only son that is still a baby that time but recovered on it but not 100% recovery. He filed a case several times but it keep denied.because VA said THEY DON’T HAVE A RECORD OF THE FLU SHOTS.. Recently the GBS came back but he gave up he passed away last year February 26,2015..What I feel now as a widow of a veteran..that my husband needs justice after all he served for the country. HOW rediculous the VA is feel like they are criminals killing my husband and nobody cares how that person suffers and ruin his life and his son lost a father…I hope somebody can read this and thinking that this country is getting worst justice is not fairly serve to those who served….

  18. Sandra Blalock    

    This article is unrealistic in its comments. Of course MyVA advisory team members are getting better care as anyone watching and inspecting you always gets priority treatment so it creates a false sense of improvement. My main issue is the lack of access to healthcare. I retired a year ago and tried to make my first VA appt. Was told couldn’t see me in 30 days so sent me to VetsChoice who then couldn’t make my appts because they had no access to my records for almost 90 days as the middleman contractor created then had the backlog of transferring access to my records – yes my privacy act records are now spread to 2 more agencies. The dysfunctional agency turns out to be TriWest which has been rude and fails to make any effort toward my healthcare. Finally saw my chosen PCM dr but have now spent another 90 days trying to get TriWest to approve the referrals as they failed to tell my dr’s office what form they needed and had the gaul to tell me ‘they signed up so they should know which forms’. My dr signed up for TRICARE and VA and has no idea who TriWest is – I had know idea who they were so we didn’t sign up with them. They should be using VA referral approval forms rather than each agency creating/forcing use of their own forms. That causes failure of transparency and creates massive increase of workload on doctors offices so no wonder less and less docs want to deal with VA healthcare system patients.

  19. John Hourihan    

    If all these things are true it is a terrible thing, but I’m’ a disabled vet (100 percent, service connected) and my experience with the VA In both West Haven Connecticut and Brockton Mass. has been fantastic. The people are polite and competent. They care. They go out of their way to help. I guess there are problems in the VA health care system, because I don’t think all the people who complain are making it up, but in the past handful of years I have not found a single thing to complain about.

    1. DannyG    

      Brother Hourihan, Thanks for the GOOD comment! I am nobody; just another disabled American veteran, but I am also happy with “MyVA”. Most of my comments are supportive of Secretary McDonald, & the VETERANS Administration employees that really care, & try to actually help us – I can’t stand the fact that politicians – the U.S. gov’t – has wasted, misappropriated, & I dare submit, outright stolen, money from the very people that elected them, rather than fulfill their inherent promise to provide adequate & life-saving health care to ALL that have served this great country! How many have died, & how many are living in DAILY fear of dying, because of their greed & CHILDISH partisan fueds? Hello – Veterans, not pawns!
      I love my country, my brothers & sisters, & the American People! We need to vote so we can
      CLEAN OUT ALL GOV’T HOUSES, & START ALL OVER AGAIN, JUST LIKE IN 1776 !!

  20. angry veteran    

    It’s all political BULLS**T. We have a broken, corrupt, ill managed system. Notice that one of the priorities missing from the list is FIRST CLASS medical personnel. Most of the doctors I’ve ever seen at VAMC,s ANYWHERE, are third world people who are NOT trained in high quality medical schools, can barely speak ENGLISH (AMERICA’S OFFICIAL LANGUAGE) are employed because they get paid less, and the brass doesn’t give a rat’s ass about us.

  21. Lawrence Wilbur Prevatte    

    I have been going to the VA for treatment from 1993 to present. I have never had a problem with treatment from my VA. I was treated for two different types of cancer I received out standing treatment. I to am sick and tired of hearing others bash the VA. We are very fortunate to have this benefit.

  22. frank height    

    I was station in camp Lejeune, during the time of the toxic waters, my health is going down very fast, been trying to get my va started since 2001, the Atlanta regional office had my paperwork, all they had to do is give me a rateing, but, they sent my paperwork to Washington dc board of appeal so it would take longer and my conditions have be approved to be service conneted, by the H.E.C. but, everyone from ATLANTA, AUGUSTA, ATHENS, DUBLING, EVEN LOCAL v.A. refuses to update my file.. help me if you can donot how much longer I can wait……..

  23. James Owens    

    I agree that I am not a customer. McDonald is trying to put retail thinking into a very different enviornment. I am a veteran, not a customer. It took me 7 years to get my disability claim settled. There was one mess and delay after another.
    The solution to this situation is not improving the union employees working environmrnt. Spend a day in any VA and see how the clerks treat veterans. They know that nothing can be done about them. I am seeing numerous doctors for very complicated issues. The doctors are adequate with some stars. The nurses generally are nice. Again the major hiccup is the clerks who could care less about being courteous the veterans.

  24. Rodney Shiro    

    Remove bureaucratic types in management who just push paper.
    My former VA doctor assisted me w/ filing a form for an disability upgrade when my diabetes treatment increased and was diagnosed w/ stage 4 colon cancer. No record of said form. In 2015,
    I filed a claim online. Received response to complete forms for release of Doctors’ medical notes. Mailed in the completed forms. Then received a 2nd letter stating I needed to submit the medical notes within 30 days-letter received on the 25th day, but was unable to view it until returning on the 28th day from a trip.
    Several pounds of med notes were turned in to my new VA doctor in 2015, which were supposedly added to my VA file. Seems to me, the VA claims agency have checked w/ my VA doctor and my files.
    As it is, my claim w/b dropped. M/B, all bureacratic types should be re-evaluated and paper pushers s/b terminated.

  25. Robert G. Bauman    

    I, too, am a Viet Nam Veteran (1968). I became totally and permanently 100% Service Connected in 2007 in Minnesota. In late 2008 I moved to Wisconsin and applied for their Property Tax Credit. My VSO told me, because I did not enlist in Wisconsin I had to wait 5 years for approval.
    After the 5 year wait I applied and was told I could not prove I had established residency until 2010, again my VSO gave me 2 Affidavits to be signed by neighbors attesting to my residency since 2008. The Wisconsin VA ignored these and told me I had to wait until Tax Time in 2016. I had no choice. In 2015 the VA “Decertified” me for eligibility, I had to reapply. I followed their requirements and resubmitted the required information in January 2016.
    There have been no replies nor action since then.
    After contacting my State Senators and being told, “there is nothing they can do”, talking to my Patients Advocate in Minnesota, who told me, “it’s Wisconsin’s problem”, being ignored by the Wisconsin VA and having the “Crisis Line” tell me, “They feel for me”, I have no hope left of being exonerated from a greedy and corrupt system of people who look down on Viet Nam Veterans as “Not good enough”.

  26. Robert G. Bauman    

    This is just the “frosting on the cake” as far as my treatment since March 2003 had been conducted through the Veterans Administration. Contact my Mental Health Provider for more information.

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