Bob McDonald: Grateful to have “most inspiring mission and the greatest clients in the world”

VA Secretary gives update at MyVA Advisory Committee



As part of a two day MyVA Advisory Committee meeting, VA Secretary Bob McDonald and Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson spoke about the significant progress made in the five strategies of the MyVA transformation in 2016. This includes improving the Veteran experience, improving the employee experience, improving internal support services, continuous improvement and enhancing strategic partnerships.

A few highlights of the MyVA progress made in 2016:

  • 17 million Veterans recieved appointments in their communities in FY15
  • Average wait times in September 2016 were less than five days for primary care, less than six days for specialty care and less than three days for mental health care
  • 60 percent of Veterans surveyed in June trust VA
  • It takes just 24 minutes to enroll in VA health care over the phone
  • 100 percent increase in the capacity for the Veterans Crisis Line facility
  • 83 percent reduction in pending claims (those greater than 125 days) since the height in March 2013
  • 47 percent decrease in Veteran homelessness since 2010
  • $226 million in cost avoidance by transforming how we order medical and surgical equipment
  • 116 days: the average time to complete a claim
  • VA has the 5th OIT ranking out of 24 agencies in the Office of Management and Budget Benchmarks for customer satisfaction
  • 106 community Veterans Engagement Boards to meet Veterans’ needs locally
  • VA now per-determines a Veteran’s eligibility for burial benefits at our 135 national cemeteries

McDonald and Gibson recognized the progress that has been made over the past two years, but emphasized that there is still more work to be done and that the VA must continue to serve Veterans by putting their needs first.

Transformation is a marathon. It’s not a sprint. MyVA is about looking at VA from the Veteran’s perspective, then doing everything we can to make the Veteran experience effective and engaging. Veterans are feeling the difference; employees are feeling the difference; and VA is acting differently. The challenge is to maintain that change momentum.

Author

Melissa Heintz

- Melissa Heintz joined the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team as a public affairs specialist in October 2015. She grew up on an Army base in Japan before her family relocated to Hawaii. She holds a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Spanish from Seattle University. Melissa has served as a public affairs specialist with Navy Region Hawaii Fleet and Family Readiness and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In December 2015, Melissa commissioned in the Rhode Island Air National Guard where she serves as a public affairs officer with the 143rd Airlift Wing.

Comments

  1. Roland Earl Trimmer    

    While I personally think Secretary Bob did about as good as anyone could have-with Obama overhead-I think he could have punished more deserving VA employees. A lot of their serious lies cost the lives of too many of my war brothers and I am extremely angry over it.

    Dusty Trimmer,Author-Advocate
    Combat/Disabled Vietnam War Veteran

  2. James Tobleck    

    Nothing has changed in west Michigan , I’ve asked for ombudsman over and over to no aval. I demand to bring charge of malfeasance against director aND Chief med. Services. As usual deaf ears, no help for me a 40 year veteran of abuse by worthless bureaucrat’s in Battle Creek Mi. Choice Program what a joke when I can’t get a total knee done at 2 local hospital’s in Muskegon Mi.with p.t. ,emergency rooms , real doctors proforming the surgery, I’m only allowed in Detroit Mi clear across the state ! No em. No P.T. No infection Treatment. Garbage treatment !

  3. James Tobleck    

    Your total , non response, is power for the corse , it might actually mean some lazy I.G. get off their (butt) and investigate. We all know the VA ‘s ability to correct their mistakes is nonexistent. You had one job to do , total knee replacement in the mid 80s to correct a botched job done in 1975, Heidelberg, West Germany. Zero help ,in fact you fought me for 30 years ! Then finally a another 5 %, 2minute C+P exams. Always over ruling civilian doctors , lately even over ruling VA doctors . I want to thank the VA for sending me What to do when I die form . Seems that’s what they have always wantef, my death.

  4. Joy Frizzell    

    Is there any help to pay the rest of a mortgage off on a veteran’s house? You can email me the answer

Comments are closed.