Message from VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin


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I am grateful to President Trump and to members of Congress for entrusting me with the privilege of serving Veterans and the dedicated employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs as your secretary. It is my highest professional honor.

Together, we’ll ensure our nation’s obligation to provide care and benefits to those “who shall have borne the battle” and fulfill our institutional I CARE Values: integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence.

That obligation and those values are sacred to me, first, as an American – a beneficiary of the service and sacrifices of Veterans and their families who defend our uniquely American freedoms and opportunities. They’re also sacred to me because my father served the nation as an Army psychiatrist, and both my grandfathers were Army Veterans. My paternal grandfather served as chief pharmacist at the VA hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, and as a young doctor, I trained in VA hospitals. So, serving the nation and serving Veterans is a family tradition.

It was a privilege to serve as VA’s Under Secretary for Health over the past year and a half. Now, I look forward to continuing our collective efforts across the department and our country to deliver the care and services our Veterans need and deserve. Among many critical efforts already underway, we will continue building on significant progress increasing access for Veterans, preventing suicide, addressing unique needs of women Veterans, supporting Veterans’ families and caregivers, continuing to drive down the disability backlog and Veteran homelessness, and pursuing necessary legislation to reform the outdated appeals process and for other critical legislative priorities.

With the support of the president, Congress, Veterans, their service organizations, and the American people, we – the dedicated employees of VA – will continue to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise.

There is no nobler mission. There is no higher calling for any American. I am humbled and proud to serve with you.

Author

David Shulkin

Dr. David J. Shulkin is the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Prior to his confirmation on Feb. 13, 2017, Dr. Shulkin served as VA’s Under Secretary for Health for 18 months, leading the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with over 1,700 sites of care serving nearly nine million Veterans.

Comments

  1. Arthur L Smith    

    February 16, 2017

    Dr. David J. Shulkin
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs
    U S Department of Veteran Affairs
    810 Vermont Avenue NW
    Washington DC 20420
    Dear Secretary Shulkin;
    As a U.S. Navy Veteran who served on Guam MI during the Korean War I wish to congratulate you regarding your new position. I believe you will do an excellent job in your new position. If there is any assistance I can provide, please don’t hesitate to ask me. I have provided along with this letter an outline of my background, and I will be most pleased to assist your efforts in your new position.
    As a specialist in advanced computer systems internationally and a specialist in Healthcare information systems I would be most pleased to assist you. I have included with this note a recent CV which will give you an idea of my background and some of the capabilities I can provide you.
    With an MBA degree from USC and as a Reservist in the Navy plus over the last 8-10 years doing international marketing and sales re advanced computer systems and now healthcare information systems I would be most pleased to provide my capabilities to you and your staffs.
    I have included a recent CV which will provide data for review. I also have substantial background in marketing and sales internationally having as a beginning traveled to and sold the two major hospitals in Sweden Univac mainframe systems replacing their punched-card systems.
    I also am working with OutWorlders – those from off our planet. Several years ago, a beamship from outer space landed an individual at our home. We heard the beamship but could not see it as it was invisible. Several days later a being walked out of one of our walls in the home and across our dining room and out through the wall. I saw him but could not catch him before he went out through the wall to the outside of our home.
    As a Veteran I would like very much to work with you and provide my capabilities to you and your staff. My wife who speaks 4 languages and we live in Arizona. There’s lots going on and I believe we can assist you and your group and the VA. Most everyone do not know why they are back again in Human form. I believe we can let them know and they in turn can assist us working with our populations in this regard and for themselves and families.
    Have a great day – best regards!

    Larry Smith

    1. Joel P Hesse    

      Joel Hesse Sr.
      · February 2, 2017
      A little HELP.. Please….. from Dr.David Shulkin…New Secretary of the VA…………[redacted] a social worker in the Behavioral Health Center wrote a letter which was requested by the veteran…I asked for a copy of the letter in July 2016 as his guardian…(she didnt post it in the notes as is usually done)at the time…I was told to get it from the veteran…. I asked her to save a copy as I was going to request it…went to ROI today 2/2/17,they couldnt find it and contacted her by phone…she has disvowed any knowledge…this is only one of the many problems I have had with this area of the VA…. I am asking for the New Director,Rick Aments involvement in helping me to obtain this letter…If not.. then perhaps the New Secretary of the VA ,Dr.David Shulkin…or someone reading this post from Washington could help me obtain it…Thank You and still no HELP or word on this as of 2-23-17

      Editor’s note: Portions of this comment have been redacted per VA’s social media policy.

    1. Robert Zimmer    

      I am 65 Vietnam Era Vet I am having real problems with my teeth tried many times to get some to help me . I am afraid that this is going to make me very ill —any way I can get dental help——— USMC

    2. Joel P Hesse    

      this is at theRobertJ Dole Va Medical center in Wichita Ks…thanks

  2. Robert L Maynard    

    So you gonna help me get the benefits I’ve deserved and the VA ignored such as ptsd, my shoulder injury, bi polar disorder caused by TBI? So far all 3 of those the VA has refused to pay for. I’ve been fighting for my shoulder since 2010. I’ve been fighting for PTSD since 2014 and even spent time in the psych ward, i have been confirmed to have Bi-polar disorder linked to TBI gotten from an IED explosion, and a VA orthopedic told me in 2010 if my shoulder still has pain i need surgery. The PTSD was told wouldn’t get paid for because the Psych ward Dr’s didnt put combat related on the medical paper work, the bi-polar disorder which was confirmed combat related was completely denied of compensation.

    I’ve received little to no treatment for all of thee above. No compensation nothing. Forgotten in the system.

  3. Kenneth Wade Finks    

    I’m a veteran that has been abused by the Va Chico over and over and I don’t think I will be going back. Lots of things have happened since I started going there and I have had enough. Thank you Kenneth W. Finks

  4. Raymond Anderson    

    Dear Secretary Shulkin

    President Trump promised several times that veterans wold be able to seek health care outside the VA system and that the VA would be required to compete with non government health care facilities. Can you please advise us when this program will be available to veterans?

    Thanks

  5. Robert Zimmer    

    That’s all good we need change , but at this time I need dental help. I am 65 Viet Nam 2535946 ERA Vet . I have been to dentist many times cant find anyone to help me as price is too high

    Robert Zimmer
    USMC
    68-70

    Casa Grande, AZ 85122
    Tele 832 891 0394

  6. Rev. Robert E. Doll    

    I simply wish to thank you, Secretary Shulkin, for your service to the VA to date and for your early communication to your constituency. May the LORD bless your work on our behalf.

    Rev. Robert E. Doll
    B.A. Pol.Sci., M.A. Ed. Min., M.A.T., USMC, ret.
    Chaplain emeritus, Disabled American Veterans

  7. Richard Johnson    

    Larry–ease up on the aliens thing man… You were making a great case for yourself until then…

  8. Charles G. lPreset    

    I am a Vietnam Vet, I have a home to live in. I just hope that you can do something to help the Homeless Vets. I can not understand how the country they served and put their lives on the line are homeless when we can bring in people from all over the world and give them housing, food, health care, etc. and not take care of our Veterans. Thank you for your time.
    Chuck Preset

  9. Donald Beville    

    Now get to work and fix the C&P side of the VA. Replace QTC and let a Veteran’s PC folks decide how sick on not so sick we are. QTC is a total waste of money, their contract should be torn up and burned. What a dog and pony show that is in Atlanta.

  10. David A. Aswad    

    Sir, I am hoping that you will work diligently to have Bladder Cancer list under the diseases for Agent Orange for Vietnam Veterans, as one of thousands of Vietnam Veterans affected with Bladder Cancer we would appreciate your support.

    1. jim may    

      Mr. Aswad–Bladder cancer has been added to the list for agent range. Welcome–from diedinnam 68-69.

  11. James E Graham    

    I’m a 82 year young Air Force retired (20yr) Veteran who has heard countless times from those in Gov., about how, they care for Veterans and how they are going to do great things to improve care and respect for those who have served this nation. Up til now I haven’t seen much positive results.
    That being said, I will look forward to seeing really positive things from the new administration. Please don’t let me down.

  12. Joni Hannigan    

    I would like to congratulate you on your new responsibilities and thank you for your ongoing support of your nation’s veterans. Thank you also for your family’s tremendous respect, honor and support of our country by its demonstrated service in the armed forces. I know that comes with a particular selflessness and empathetic hearts.

    Those who came before me are also dedicated military men and women who gave tremendously of their lives to serve. My paternal grandfather served in the Army; my Cuban-born maternal grandfather served in the Navy; and my father and my aunt served in the Air Force. My husband is retired Army and his family has a similar legacy.

    Having navigated the VA system for my elderly aunt for some time now, and for myself, a Navy veteran, I am quite familiar with the challenges it can present. I am also quite proud of the excellent healthcare it can provide when it is well-functioning.

    Again, congratulations.

  13. Arthur Fisher    

    So are the Disable Vets going to get a DECENT raise. Or is it nothing again

  14. Richard Stout    

    Welcome aboard and thank you for accepting the position of the VA Secretary . I am a veteran and receive care at the Mountain Home VA in Johnson City Tn. I must say we get the greatest of care there above any expectations of Staff. My hope is to join the VA as a chaplain or assistant. The problem for me is meeting the academic qualification I have pastured for a good number of years but at 65.5 years I would like to focus on serving the Veterans and their families. Will you please help me Stout 0657. Thank you and welcome. Richard Stout

  15. STEVEN ONEIL SLEMMER    

    WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT AGENT ORANGE EXPOSURE? I HAVE FILED CLAIMS, WITH NOTHING SAID ABOUT COMPENSATION.
    THE WORDING FROM THE VA WAS MY BOOTS DID NOT TOUCH VIETNAM SOIL SO I DONT QUALIFY.
    THAT BEING SAID, IM REMINDING YOU THAT AGENT ORANGE ( IS AIRBORNE) SO ALL OF THE SUPPLIES THAT CAME FROM VIET NAM, MOST OF US HANDLED. MANY OF MY SHIPMATES ALONG WITH MYSELF HAVE DIEBETES, CANCER, OTHER AILMENTS CAUSED BY AGENT ORANGE.
    WE ARE ASKING FOR COMPENSATION!!
    IT KIND OF MAKES US FEEL LIKE THE VA IS WAITING FOR US TO DIE, THAT WAY HEY WONT HAVE TO PAY.
    I AND OTHERS SERVED OUR COUNTRY, PUTTING OUR LIVES ON THE LINE, NOT KNOWING IF WE WOULD LIVE OR DIE. THAT HAS TO BE WORTH SOME COMPENSATION.
    I JUST GOT A LETTER FROM VA SAYING I OWED THEM 600.00 FROM 2015. HOW CAN THEY COME UP WITH THIS CRAP? THEY SHOULD BE PAYING ME. SINCERELY, STEVEN SLEMMER SERVED ON THE USS CACAPON AO-52 1963-1967.

  16. John Neuer    

    I hope you can help with appeals because 4 years is too long we will be dead before that appeals help us in the state of Florida

  17. John A. DeWitt    

    Dr. David J. Shulkin
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs
    U S Department of Veteran Affairs
    810 Vermont Avenue NW
    Washington DC 20420

    I certainly hope you will help those of us who were poisoned by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. I have experienced Renal Cell Carcinoma and now I have only 1/2 of one kidney left to filter for my entire body. Additionally I have RAI Stage III Leukemia. That is two of the 15 listed illnesses identified in the study by HQMC. I have had a claim in for more than 24 months and no action has been taken to provide disability benefits for me. There is only a response of we have so many to go through… That is the unacceptable response to my Congressman, and both of my Senators. Meanwhile I am paying thousands of dollars for out of pocket expenses due to neglect of the Marine Corps and the VA. People like me need help NOW before it is too late.

    John DeWitt
    SGT USMC
    1975-1980

  18. Jack Clinton Laird    

    I welcome change in the VA healthcare system. The recent move by congress to provide “veterans choice” is, I believe, the right direction. Veterans, like myself, who live in rural areas have been locked out of the system due to the extreme travel required. Next week I have to travel 5 hours, each way, and stay overnight, for a routine eye exam. I have been authorized by the veterans choice program to seek care outside the system but I have found that the VA “system” has set up roadblocks to make the system not work. I consulted with our local eye clinic and the two medical clinics and found the same answer. The paperwork and reimbursement rate and not worth the effort. The eye clinic offered service for free rather than do the VA program.

    It is curious that my spouse, who receives CHAMPVA, receives better health care than I do. Everyone is happy to accept her insurance.

    Why not move those veterans who have Medicare to the CHAMPVA system? Much better service for most veterans and probably lower costs.

    Regards,

    JC Laird
    Agness Oregon

  19. Emilio Aerjorn    

    Dear Secretary Shulkin,

    As I see it, your most basic problem (and probably the most insurmountable to resolve) is the administrative apparatus of USVA. There are too many people involved in matters that have absolutely no direct responsibilities for veteran’s issues of any sort. GET THOSE KINDS OF PEOPLE OUT OF THERE!!

  20. Gary Ward    

    I am glad that you have been approved for the job and what a job it is going to be. I am a Veitnum veteran and have a fuel health problems. But that’s just one of those things. I live over two hours from the nearest Va.I would like to see a program for vets like me to be able to go to our local dr..

    Think You

    Gary Ward

  21. Ron Ballweber    

    Please help all veterans that were subject to toxic bases
    Fort McClellan AL should be top priority as Congress had
    Failed to pass a bill for over 6 years. Step up to the plate
    And approve this base. Camp Lejune finally approved
    Now it’s time for us.

  22. Jackie O'Doherty    

    Congratulations on your appointment Dr Shulkin. Of course, successful business depends on the employees not the Boss seems to be the Rule of Thumb. After 10 years of trying to get our 55 year old Navy vet son with 20 yrs service- aircraft hydraulics from 1988 thru 2007 to accept and into treatment for PTSD/Bipolar and now Schizophrenia due to Marijuana use…….I’d want you to know our experience is that Healthcare is only as good as Federal Law permits. We are watching him slowly spiral down thru the whirlpool to his death. Legally – All Mental Health Providers are prevented from Saving his Life is what we are told. Psychiatrist, Law Enforcement, Adult Protective Services, Court Mandated Programs, and even the Veterans Crisis Line have been involved and consulted – frequently. Even the Ombudsman Program doesn’t work for cases like ours. And, as a longtime NAMI volunteer I know how many families and vulnerable individuals are trying to find or needing this help. Resolve this one for us Dr Shulkin and you will be a Hero. Thank you for trying anyway.

  23. David Bearden    

    Congratulations. I very much appreciate the car I get from the VA and Health Net, but I wish I could get equal care and medical equipment as the general public. Also, I have found an amazingly simple solution to the problems I’ve had with the choice program that could have prevented a lot of these over the last 2 years including having a collection agency after me. I wish you the best with bringing some needed changes, but from what I see you would have to oversee everything down here at the patient level to accomplish anything.

  24. Stuart Vencill    

    Dear Secretary Shulkin,

    Congratulations on your new position; as Vietnam Vet I pray for your success and that you will bring improved service to veterans, especially those who were exposed to agent orange in stateside missions of disposal and are not getting help. Thanks,
    Stuart Vencill
    POBox 1066
    Joseph OR 97846

  25. Drake R.Davis    

    I am a veteran. US.ARMY. I am glad we have a new Secretary of V.A. to help Veterans like me. Get on track. And clear up the backlogs of Veterans Benefits. God Bless you. Our new Secretary of Veterans Administration.
    Thank you for helping us.

  26. Donald Clayton    

    I love it, us veterans get thank you for serving OUR country from republicans and all they do is kick us in OUR teeth!!! Take away our benefits to give bonus to the jerks that denies us our rights until we are DEAD!!!!!!!

  27. Louis E Wood    

    I tried the VA for my issue. The doctor that did my evaluation was “not allowed” to treat me, only evaluate. He did the most complete examination I have ever received (a very good doctor). I was sent to a doctor, outside the VA facility. At my visit to that doctor, she had no records of my issue and did no examination of me. She asked what was my problem, then gave me a prescription for pain medication (still no examination) and said if that did not help, come back to see her. On the way out of her office, I destroyed the prescription and never went back to her or the VA. Instead, I went to the local Air Force hospital and received immediate and great care. Now, both myself and my wife receive great care by Air Force doctors at the Mike O’Callahan Federal Hospital. I am so blessed to be an Air Force retire and living close to a great medical facility, run by outstanding professionals!
    Louis E. Wood, CMSgt. (Retired), US Air Force

  28. Glenn    

    I’m having issues at Fort Leavenworth KS
    Getting treatment for my chronic pain, i’ve lived with this pain for 12 years and I know what works and doesn’t work .
    The medical doctor is telling me that the government will not treat chronic pain with opioid medication.
    Well this is the only thing that works for me it’s getting so costly through my family doctor I cannot afford it any longer this is why I have a VA benefit that should take care of it and they are not.

  29. Steve M. Corley    

    Sounds nice. I would however like to know how you plan to represent VA employees. I serve those who have served as I have served in the armed forces. From what I understand, the next move of congress is to severely weaken our unions (I’m a member of the AFGE), leaving us with no recourse should we be targeted for termination from employment for ANY or NO reason. Will you stand for us sir? We are the “boots on the ground” providing care for the veterans that you say you care about. Talk is cheap, sir. What do you have?

    Steve Corley
    Northport VAMC
    Northport, NY

  30. Henry M Morris    

    February 17, 2017
    Dr. David J. Shulkin
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs
    U S Department of Veteran Affairs
    810 Vermont Avenue NW
    Washington DC 20420
    Dear Secretary Shulkin;
    As a Vietnam War Veteran (1966-1967) I wish to congratulate you regarding your new position.
    I have been service connected since 2001 because of exposure Agent Orange. I went from 10% to 70% than in 2016
    I was 80% than 90% but than someone decided that by April of 2016 heart condition was going to get better and
    reduced me back 80%. How in the world does a heart condition get better? If I hear from you or one of your staff on a more
    secure e-mail site than I will provide you with my SS number and case file number. This time I have been waiting for an answer since February 04, 2016.
    Thank you for your time,
    Henry M Morris

  31. SCOTT TREADWAY    

    I have a question for the new secratary. Are there any plans in the works to provide dental care to all veterans not just the ones in voc rehab or 100% disabled.

    Sincerly,
    Scott Treadway

  32. Robert Bruce Graham, SR.    

    I do wish you the best in providing benefits to our Veterans. As a veteran I am looking forward to your supporting my fellow military veterans as they are readjusting to their civilian lives. For some it will be more difficult to readjust. You are in our continued prayers as you seek to help provide to all who served! God be with you as decisions are being made to do all you can with their needs and intrests. GOD Bless AMERICA ! Sincerely Robert B. Graham, U.S.ARMY veteran

  33. Stepheney Elaine Carter    

    Congratulations! I am a Gulf War Veteran who hopes that you succeed in making the veterans healthcare sincerely important for all of us veterans. Thank You. Stepheney Elaine Carter, U.S. Army Veteran, Baltimore, MD

  34. Darlene Louise. Sigala    

    Congratulations on your new position as a woman veteran who had an honorable discharge in 1980 there a clear undeniable errors in my compensation and percentages I currently have a bva claim where I had my hearing in December of 2014 still awaiting a decision I currently have new severe Medical issues which my attorney asked to expedite my claim I also have MST military sexual trauma and PTSD which was also denied which is also part of my bva claim I understand several people have had them reopened and been compensated to this date I have been compensated for nothing including the PTSD treatment I went through I also have a malpractice claim with the general counsel for negligence of a doctor who is no longer at the VA I was denied first and recently told I will have to wait till the summer to see if I will get my claim it’s unfortunate because I now have permanent heart damage and are having things taken away from me and because of these health issues I wish you could sit down and talk to me to see everything I have been through and the amount of hours that I had spent with my attorney to help get me what’s rightfully earned and for all the medical and surgery so I’ve had I truly hope that you will get this taken care of waiting over 2 years for a bva decision is not acceptable to myself or any other veteran ID do hope you will Rectify this as soon as possible most of us live in poverty level income by the VA

  35. Ralph V. Stott    

    Dear Secretary Shulkin: Congrats on your new position. My sincere hope and prayer is that you will be able to accomplish all the goals that you have mentioned above. I remember what President Donald Trump said about some vets who visited their VA to be treated and became terminal before they could see a doctor. I hope that you will lend your weight to ensuring that all VA facilities and CBOCs will be able to refer their VA patients to non-VA doctors in a timely manner, if necessary. I know it’s not going to be an easy task; yet, I trust that the full implementation of Veterans Choice will be achieved during your administration. I have been a volunteer here at Captain James A. Lovell Health Care Facility for over 6 years. I thought that my volunteer efforts may help a few vets; however, I soon found out that caring for others was life changing for me. Volunteering has made me a healthier person, a better listener, and a better curator of my talents. Someone once said, “Blessed is he who has found his work.” I have found my work in volunteering at my local VA.

  36. DAVID W SUNKLE    

    WELL HE SOUNDS GOOD. NOW ON WARD TO THE VIET-NAM VETERANS. ESPECIALLY THE ONES SERVING OUT IN THE GULF. WE WERE EXPOSED ALSY.. AND;HAVE THE SAME DEBILIATING PROBLEMS. DIABETTES II , PROSTATE CANCER , NUROPOTHY , BLOOD PRESSURE PROBLEMS , I AM NOW (77) AND STILL WAITING.??

  37. Christina M. Hutson    

    I’m a Retired Veteran of US NAVY HOSPITAL. CORPSMAN 2ND CLASS, just wish they could fulfil there obligation in paying our bills in a timely manner which I have to pay one for 2016 and i got another one back in 2012 sent to collection agency which ruin my credit. I do hope you can make some changes in the system and to help our fellow soldiers that comes back from these wars to help them get the help they need. Thank you I know you will do your best to get the job done to help our fellow veterans get the help they need. God Bless You Secretary Shulkin.

  38. Glen Smith    

    Well it sure looks like TRUMP has sold the Veterans Out !!!

    Putting another VA Bureaucrat in charge of the Dept. of VA
    isn’t going to solve any problems…this is one of the main
    selohssa’s that is responsible for getting the VA into this shape…

    Still nobody will be held responsible…
    TRUMP is turning into a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing…
    and Vets like me will just be allowed to DIE for lack of Doctors
    and Medical Personnel…Went since 2013 trying to get appointments and treatment…
    Now I am just going to die from inaction…oh and they want me to pay for
    my Emergency treatment…use your Medicare…

  39. Lynda Willner    

    Congratulations Dr. Shulkin on your appointment and confirmation. Thank you for serving.

    I’d request that, at some point, you would look into the Cal Vet loan program in the State of California, as America’s vets with home loans through this program are charged an exorbitant rate of interest for this loan privilege with no opportunity to refinance through this program. My husband, who served in the Marine Corps., has been paying a Cal Vet interest rate of 7.90% since 2000. This rate is doing a great disservice to the very service personnel that it should be benefitting.

    Again, bless you for taking on this task for President Trump and please consider some alterations to this program.
    Sincerely,
    L. Willner

  40. Charley Alonzo Kiser    

    Dr. Shulkin,
    While I hope you actually do something to repair our broken VA healthcare system, I for one am not very optimistic. I have been in the VA healthcare system now for over two decades and I have very rarely received the so-called “world class healthcare” that the VA healthcare system says they provide. In 2014.
    I found out through a CIVILIAN neurosurgeon that my first back surgery, performed in a VA hospital was done wrong and actually weakened my spine.
    I have been sent home with a cracked wrist WITHOUT ANY TREATMENT WHATSOEVER and did not know that my wrist was cracked until I got a copy of my x-ray report a week later.
    In 2011, was diagnosed with bone spurs in my neck and have been struggling to get treatment for those bone spurs ever since, all the while dealing with constant neck pain and a permanent headache caused by those bone spurs.
    I have lost all faith in VA healthcare and just want to be allowed to see civilian doctors of my choice when I need to see them and without the unnecessary bureaucratic crap that is the Veterans Choice program.
    I have had to go public with my complaints about the veterans choice program once ans VA healthcare in general just to get some of the care I need.I had to threaten Health Net Federal services, the Veterans choice contractor, with a lawsuit just to get ONE necessary test done so that I could be treated.

    Something has to give………

  41. John Chapman    

    Congratulations!!!
    I pray that you get the cooperation you deserve in setting this task before you right. As a Vietnam Veteran I wish you only the best.
    GOD Speed
    John Chapman

  42. Richard John Small, Jr    

    Dr David J Shulkin;

    Congratulations on your position with the VA. I just want you to know that this Vietnam Veteran is with you and President Trump 100 percent. I look forward to your guidance for all of us veterans.

    Thank you in advance,

    Richard Small

  43. David Robinson    

    What you say sounds really good. Actions speak louder than words. I saw nothing about dealing with the high turnover of VA Drs and nurses. The pay is not adequate for the jobs these folks do for us. So far I have had the same VA Dr for the years that I have been enrolled, but have also experienced high nurse turnover. Let’s pay these folks what they would be making in the private sector.

  44. John Esau    

    As a Vietnam combat Veteran (1966-67) I have availed myself of VA services and medical care to the point of more than 20 VA visits/appointments each year. I would like to report outstanding care and service both at my present VA Facility in West Palm Beach, FL, but at my previous facility at Castle Point, NY. I know the VA has it’s newsworthy problems, but I can confirm only exemplary care in Osteopathic, Pulmonary, Cardio-vascular, Neurological, and through my Primary physician.

    May you be able to accomplish all you hope to do in your new role.

    John Esau, USArmy, 1965-71

  45. Pete Perez    

    Dear V.A.Secretary,Dr.David Shulkin:
    Please, give us back one of our Vets Parking Lots which was taken away and given to Employees.
    We can’t find a place to park, if we arrive any later for our appointments than 09:30 A.M.
    Valet Parking is Forced on us! There are usually three long lines, by late Morning,from three roads leading to the front of “The Michael E.DeBakey,V.A.Medical Center.,” and only a few Valets to park our Autos. None of us likes a stranger driving our Autos. Sometimes Valets can cause damage to our Autos, especially to our Transmissions. I had one Valet Parking elsewhere, “who drove my Automatic Transmission like it was a Manual Transmission and almost ruined my Transmission.” I have driven around the outside of the Parking Lots and seen many empty Parking Spaces but Guards won’t let us Park and tell us “to go to Valet Parking,in front of the V.A.Med Center.” We War Vets don’t seem to have any Parking Rights.**Pete(age71),Diabetic **Houston,Texas*

  46. Pete Perez    

    Thank you, Dr.David Shulkin for any help in this Matters !*

  47. Gene L Shaw    

    My name is Gene Shaw I am a navy veteran TM2SS.
    I am an officer in the VFW Auxiliary Orange County Council and District two state of NY.
    I am a life member of the VFW Auxiliary, a life member of the American legion, a member of the Vietnam veterans, a member of the orange county coalition of veterans organizations and an advocate for the homeless veterans vets to vets

    Congratulations on your new cabinet position. I look forward to the changes that you will make to help Our returning soldiers and our Veteran.
    MY motto is
    ” No soldiers left behind No veteran is forgotten”
    The NY.state VFW auxiliary Motto this year is
    “Anchored to serve Our Veterans and their Families”
    Loyally,
    Gene Shaw

  48. Francisco Perez Melendez    

    As a Puertorrican I still with no Representation and been isolated from my rights, So where is my Representation, These have been for long !!!

  49. Dennis Wayne Cochran Sr    

    I’m not going to blow smoke and tell you the VA system is just peachy, since you’ve been in management areas, but I challenge you to do one thing, take off the tie and suit a couple of times, put on old clothes and a field jacket, and just walk in to several VA hospitals and clinics, see our reality, see what us Veterans REALLY have to do for once.
    Many fellow Veterans have long drawn out health issues and many end up just passing away early in life due to just plain neglect by the “system”. Let’s see what ya got Doc.

  50. David Thomas steele    

    Congrats dr now let’s see along with making America great you can improve on va disability review and rating services

    God bless

  51. Carol Capito    

    Thank all you wonderful folks and May GOD BLESS YOU all!!!

  52. Connie Sue Rhodes    

    I was a volunteer at the Marion Illinois VA AND I STOPPED BECAUSE I WAS COUNSELED FOR BEING TOO NICE! Let’s start improvement there.

  53. dave kane    

    if the new va director dors not come in and shake up the system his tenure will be uselees. he will be as useless as the previous director bob mcdonald who is back at proctor and gamble making combo snack crackers.
    federal employees have a thick shield of whatever protecting them. when I worked at the nations largest va hospital in houston I saw it f4om fay one. They know nobody gets fired. They know how tbe fed govy just promotes a-holes to get them oyt of their hair. They know about the va director offering 305 thousand taxpayer dollars to a whistleblower to quit. He is still in charge of your loved ones health and she was moved to a trailer in the parking lot. The whole federal employee competitive and wage grade system has to be re written. Get frikkin real 2 women stole 400 thousand dollars of benefits and still are supervising your loved ones health. If you are totally stupid you may not be able to comprehend the facts. If your a fed employee you just say screw them, it wont matter unless they cut tbrough that fat layer of protection we have. First is the race card and if that wont work we will just squeel discrimination of whatever till they go away. Best bet is to shut down the va entirely and let competent organizations like hosputals and private doctors do good work. As of 2 21.17 I have waired a month for a prescription form for a anti inflamitory they prescribed. Totally useless losers ryn by totally useless loser appointees.

  54. greenie chickie    

    the va will always suck major because they hire according to skin color or race status not for education or experience or references or awards or previous job performance. Its all about skin color. I’m cursed being born white. If I was black I coyld have a job for life guaranteed.

  55. The Lone Patriot 1    

    First Fix: Reorganize VA so EVERY Vet has only ONE CASEWORKER with {Extention Number, email and mail information SENT to each Vet they cover} TO TALK TO ONLY!!. #2 An 800 number to REPORT when Caseworker does not “KNOW”, does’nt REALLY Help or TAKES TOO LONG to get anything done. ALL OTHERS MUST be directed to asssit Csseworkers or BE — FIRED! #3 ANYONE with BACKLOG of MORE than 90 DAYS after 90 DAYS OF YOUR APPOINTMENT–FIRED!

    Everything ELSE HAS BEEN TRIED!!!!!..”Reforms” Useless!!!!! Civil Service will “work around” Reforms. IF they spent as MUCH TIME HELPING as they do TRYING TO GET OUT OF HELPING, there would be REAL PROGRESS. FIRING FOR UNMET GOALS IS NOT “unfair”

  56. CAV SCOUT    

    Congratulations Sir !

    I have some concerns as it applies to us Veterans living in Germany. Many say that we made the choice to remain here. But it’s not an option since I do have family here. We do not have a VA hospital here. My service connected issues are covered with the Foreign Medical Plan Program. This can become stressful if the German doctors wish to get paid ASAP. Fortunately, I am lucky in regards to this. They are willing to wait. I received a Choice Card last year from VA but that is worthless here. I can be seen on a space available at a nearby Army Installation Health Clinic. I’m covered by TRICARE. They pay 75% and I pay 25% of the bill. These bases are far away from my home. The nearest base is 2 hours away driving distance on the Autobahn. I do have a question: are emergency treatment in non-VA facilities authorized (non service connected) if VA facilities are not available ? Thnak you.

  57. Cathy Regan    

    Dr. David J. Shulkin
    Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs
    810 Vermont Ave NW
    Washington DC 20420

    Cathy Regan
    5207 Meadors Spur Road
    Moneta, VA 24121

    February 23, 2017

    Dear Sir:

    I am the spouse and care giver of a 100% disabled veteran. My veteran husband has been 100% disabled for 20 plus years and has been completely dependent for his medical care from VA. As a result of that care he ended up with a spinal cord injury. After almost two years of his complaints of neck pain and overall pain, upon his complete collapse, they discovered despite their insistence that he merely had rheumatoid arthritis, they finally discovered he had cervical spinal stenosis at C3-C5. At that point there was severe spinal compression which caused spinal cord injury.

    Our experience with VA care in the past four years is beyond what I can even express. Our lives have been upended and the nightmare continues. After a second spine surgery, the VA in their ultimate wisdom, rejected payment of followup care. That ended up throwing him into the Choice program. That is an even bigger nightmare than the VA if that is possible.

    We have a high end power chair that VA has not serviced in a timely manner and it is the only source of transportation for this veteran as he now has quadriplegia. As a result I have had to fix his foot pedals myself and get a saws-all and cut off a piece of the chair myself. It still has other issues that need to be addressed but once again no one has addressed them.

    I also want to know why Vietnam Veterans spouses that provide full care for their spouses are not eligible for the same pay that post 9-11 veterans spouses receive. If not for me this veteran would require nursing home care. Because of the stress the system of VA has placed upon me I have suffered my own health issues.

    This system needs revamp. Personally I support scrapping this system all together because I have seen many instances of negligence and neglect that go beyond fixing. I believe lack of leadership has lead to a bloated, incompetent, and broken system. And that does not even begin to express the frustration of the ratings and compensation system that is so broken it is indescribable.

    At a time when this country is focusing on giving help to illegal aliens I wonder why nothing is being done to help our veterans and their families with care and financial restitution. You may think you are helping but from this consumers opinion your efforts ARE NOT filtering down to the veterans. With all due respect, you are all talk and not very much action or results.

    Cathy Regan

  58. John Dahlstrom    

    I have a problem with the Birmingham hospital Sleep center i/e supplies and being made to come in. It use to be handled by two women. All most was done though the mail the machine (c-pap) has a smart card that tracks everything. When attention is needed an appointment was given. In fact since the hospital has staffed up I get less not more. We would get supplies every 3 months. Now every 6 months. Every time it takes more than one call to get supplies. More staff less service. I have called the director of hospital rather than advocate as this never helped. After name and last four the directors office always gets through. This time I was told I could pick up at appointment and was even offered an earlier appointment. The only thin is its late in the morning. At that time the line for transport is at least 100 deep. As a disabled 3 spine operations I’m in pain all the time. that type of wait without a seat if needed on cement is painful. It seems punitive. When all was said and done this time I was told to bring everything power cord, mask, tubing. I told the women it’s never looked at but I would bring it. She at that point told me why it was needed should be checked. Back again to it never is. With the state of the debt and lack of funds or needing to do more with less, I wonder why with more staff I get less service. I am not here to provide them a job They are there to provide me and other Vets a service.

  59. Fred R Schneider    

    I really respected David McDonald for publishing his cell number and Email address. Even though he did not have time to reply directly things got done quickly and I attribute that to hid dedication to actually help people and insure things got done.
    Not sure we will have that now:(

    The VA is broken, corrupt, and dysfunctional in many places and they really need to actually clean house and get rid of all the “dead wood”, waste, and incompentency as we are still having the long waits and the VA trying to get out of paying for your care when you have to go outside the system when you have a stroke 65 miles away from a VA facility and instruct you to all 911 where they will tell you to get to the nearest hospital.

    Go figure. Semper Fi

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