Dr. Carolyn Clancy: VA academic affiliations key to team-based care

Partnerships in Veterans' care key to future



Dr. Carolyn Clancy came to VA in 2013 after 23 years of distinguished service at the federal Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, the last 10 years as its director. In 2009, she was the first woman to top Modern Healthcare’s list of the country’s 50 Most Influential Physicians.

On July 2,2014, Dr. Clancy was named Interim Under Secretary for Health to help get the Veteran Health Administration back on track. She served in that capacity until a new Under Secretary was named.  Dr. Clancy TNDr. Clancy is now back in her position as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Quality, Safety and Value, where she steadfastly plans, directs, coordinates and evaluates VHA programs and approaches.

We interviewed Dr. Clancy to discuss VA’s growing partnerships with U.S. medical schools and the impact they have had on the growth and success of medicine for Veterans and all humankind.

“I think our 70-year history has served both academic centers and Veterans very, very well, but I also think that there are additional opportunities,” Clancy said. “I do think that together we can learn and help each other step up to the needs of 21st century health care, by which I mean care that is more team-based and fundamentally puts the patient at the center of care.”

The 70th anniversary of VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations was Jan. 30, the day in 1946 that Policy Memorandum #2 was issued to create long-term affiliations between VA and medical schools. The affiliations were key to building a health-care system that could care for the millions of Veterans coming home after from World War II.

The growth of these partnerships continues to train health-care providers to meet ever-increasing needs. Training doctors and nurses by the thousands and establishing research agreements with the nation’s medical schools would result in the largest health-care training program in the United States.

Click here to watch the video we created to highlight the beginning of this 70th celebration. And click here to watch all of the testimonials and to read more on how VA and its collegiate partners continue to meet the challenge of maintaining and training a vital workforce that provides world class care for Veterans.

Author

Ken McKinnon

Ken McKinnon is the video team leader on VA's Digital Media Engagement team. He has a 45-year career in journalism and government service, 13 years with Florida newspapers, 10 as a press and communications director on Capitol Hill, and 22 with the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. He is the proud son of a career Marine Master Sergeant who served in World War II and the Korean War.

Comments

  1. fred w scott    

    Iam a viet nam vet and i was denied treatment from va hospitals in danville il and indianapolis in . They told me to go to a ciliven dr. And i cant get to the place they want me to go to. I live in springfield.il i cant ride in va van due to a bad back ad i have canser in my throte and colin too. What do i do . I fought in nam and have a bonable discharge also why are the va treating me like this. I also didnt get my travle pay .i gave the travle all my address.s and they denied me my travle pay they dont want to pay cause i travled every day back and fourth from springfield to indianapolis for all my canser treatments. Why am i being treated this way i fought for my country so maybe you can explain to me why
    …..

  2. fred w scott    

    I didnt get help from the va at all my coments were listed above in first statement

  3. ManuelHM    

    VA – Academia partnership can be quite productive. The thing to watch out for and prevent is the excess domination of academia over VA. Example: Full-time VA physician spending 90% of her time in medical school and only 10% in VA clinic.

  4. Sandy Hale    

    ABOLISH THE ENTIRE VA SYSTEM

    DO NOT REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR
    This is such a simple concept that it’s scary most veterans and veteran organizations just don’t get it. The VA system is never going to get fixed if we keep throwing money at it because the VA only sucks money up like a bottomless pit and spends it on itself, not the veterans.
    Know where all that extra funding goes? To lazy VA employees who claim overtime working on your backlog claim that they’ve been sitting on for years and now they are rewarded for that laziness by collecting not only their outrageous federal employee pay that they didn’t earn and don’t deserve, but now they are paid even more for that laziness with extra overtime pay. They claim to work on weekends and holidays for double and triple overtime pay. They don’t actually have to be in the office, just claim to be working on it at home. Who cares? Its free money and a free for all. VA employees are like sharks in a feeding frenzy with extra VA funding money.
    That kind of incentive motivates them to let every one of your VA claims become backlog so they can collect more funding for more overtime pay. And, you’re extra funding goes to vacations for those lazy VA employees. That’s right. Seminars in Hawaii on all those new rules and regulations you wanted and seminars on how to spend the new funding money. Paid vacation, plus they don’t have to work on that backlog that they received the money for because they’re too busy going to classes and seminars with luncheons and all expense paid training that can last for weeks at a time because at the VA, there is absolutely no accountability. NONE whatsoever. Nobody questions anybody because they’re all cheating on their overtime and paid expense accounts.
    VA employees are not going to rock the cruise boat that they’re sailing in. That’s why VA whistleblowers are few and far between. Plus, that’s why VA whistleblowers are treated so badly by the other employees. What do you mean you don’t want your share of VA blood money? Employees with morals and a conscience are not allowed and are not tolerated by the VA system.
    Government con artists have convinced veterans that all we need is more rules and regulations and more funding, more money, more money. WRONG. WRONG and WRONG.
    For all of the thousands of veterans who died waiting for appointments you know what the VA doctors who were responsible received for punishment? A bonus. Know what the VA executives that were responsible for murder received? A bonus and a promotion. Know what the VA hospitals, clinics and VA administrative offices received? More funding. Know what the veteran’s families received? A dead loved one. Know what the dead veteran received? An end to VA benefits for them and their families. How fair is that? Do not…I say again. Do not reward BAD behavior with money. It only encourages the VA to act bad more often to receive more money. Does that make sense to anyone?

    MONEY IS POWER
    The golden rule: He who has the gold- makes all the rules. Money is power. Lobbying power to make laws, rules and regulations so that the VA controls the money and can divert it from its original purpose, the more money, the more power, the more abuse of the money and power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    How about new furnished offices with cable television? Don’t laugh. The VA has cable TV everywhere and it’s not for the veterans. The televisions in the clinics and offices are mounted so that they always face the VA desks and VA employees control the TV and watch soap operas and game shows all day long so that absolutely no work gets done. Get a clue.
    I wanted to watch the news one time and asked a VA employee to change the channel from her soap opera to the news and she said “NO”. When I asked her “why” she stated that she didn’t want to “upset” the veterans with bad news because they just can’t handle it. Ok, so you can handle combat but not the local news. Really? I’ve never seen a veteran flip out because the news channel was on, but hey, who knows? Because all veterans are considered by VA employees to be mentally deranged children who have to be cared for by VA employees, they know what’s best for us. Sit here honey. Wait here darling. Ok sweetie. Like we’re in a nursing home already. I’ve seen female VA employees sit on male veteran’s laps and talk like a baby to them. Maybe you male veterans like that crap, but I don’t appreciate being treated like a child. Age didn’t take my adulthood from me and I hope it didn’t take your manhood from you.
    Controlling power. Bribery power. Power to shut whistleblowers up by paying them off because they can’t fire them. All a VA employee has to do is pretend they’re not with the VA crooked system and get paid extra for it. Can’t beat that with a stick. Maybe you’re lucky enough to witness an illegal VA transaction or catch your boss shipping used prosthetics from VA suppliers who are charging the government for new prosthetics. I actually received an alleged new wheel chair cushion with a big urine stain on it but the federal government paid the VA supplier for a new one. Maybe you stumbled across another VA employee who cooked the books and embezzled VA funds or witnessed a VA doctor injure a veteran with their stupidity and incompetence.
    This is your lucky day because you’re about to get paid and in fact, you’re going to be the VA’s star witness against the veteran and his family. Spend that money carefully because you’re going to earn it. It will cost you your morals, but what the heck; you have none because you work for the VA.

    THE NON-VA HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS SUPERIOR MEDICAL CARE
    The VA health care system is worse than charity hospitals and clinics because it takes an act of Congress to get a federal employee fired. They know this. The VA system is federal and their federal employee system is set up so that you cannot get rid of bad federal employees.
    It takes years of hearings and appeals and the entire time, this VA employee who murdered your beloved veteran is getting paid to sit home and fight the charges. More paid vacations. Do you think that would happen at your local hospital? No way. The local non-VA institution would immediately suspend the employee without pay and investigate and if found that the charges were valid, they would be fired on the spot. No contest. No hearings. No appeals. That’s because regular non-federal employees are hired “at will” which means they can be fired at the “pleasure” of the hospital, clinic or institution. They don’t even need a reason to fire their employees.
    They weed out the bad employees because they are “customer oriented”. They want to please the patrons who come to their hospitals and clinics because they have competition. The VA system has no competition. You have to go there and you have to put up with whatever crap they dish out. VA employees know that. You have NO CHOICE whatsoever. It’s worse than being in the military. At least in the military you can go up the chain of command and hope to find some justice, but not with the VA system because they are the chain of command. They are your masters. They control everything. There is no assistance outside of the VA system. Do you think the VA hospital or VA Regional Office is afraid of your local Congressman? NO. The VA administrator lunches and golfs with them because the VA system has the MONEY and POWER to control your Congressman because of all that extra funding you wanted them to have. Don’t worry, its being put to a good cause. Greed. Ditto for the Inspector General’s Office and the VA Consumer Affairs Office. All federal employees who profit from extra VA funding. Silly veteran, tricks are for kids.
    Wake up veterans. The VA system is not about you, it’s not for you and it never was. I can remember when the Vietnam Veterans returned home from their foreign war and was spit on by the public and denied all their benefits by the same federal system that sent them over there and a few showed their displeasure by blowing up some VA Regional Offices. I would have to let all the veterans get out first. Just kidding. I’m not advocating violence, just controlled rebellion to unite and abolish the entire VA system because it doesn’t serve us veterans. You’re beating a dead horse.
    There is already a medical system out there that actually works and we don’t need the federal VA health care system. There are trained civilian administrative people out there and we don’t need VA regional offices with their federal employees. The military and the VA have already out-sourced other areas of federal management to civilians. Remember how the food improved when the military out-sourced the chow halls to civilian companies. It’s time to out-source the entire VA system to the already in place civilian companies and hospitals that are customer oriented and want your business and they don’t profit from your death or neglect. Their business only profits when the customer, which would be you, is satisfied. They are customer friendly and service oriented, which is what the VA system was NOT set up to do.

    Sandy Hale, Retired Nurse, Disabled combat veteran

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