An Open Letter to VA Health Care Providers



Sometimes it’s hard to perform our jobs at the highest level when our employer is called into question. I realize many of you may be experiencing feelings of discouragement right now. But if you haven’t heard it often enough recently, I will tell you: the care you provide to the Veterans you serve is important work and your kind words, skilled care and understanding hearts will keep our Veterans strong and able to live their best lives.

I’ve had the great pleasure of visiting many VAMCs across the country and am humbled by the passion you bring to your careers. I’ll let the words I’ve heard from you lift you up and empower you to continue to be the best you can be for our Nation’s heroes.

What can I say about the Veterans…their gift to us has been so great, it’s an honor that I get to contribute to giving them the best care anywhere.”

Janie, Nurse Manager, 26 years at VA

I am a Combat Veteran from Viet Nam. I took the GI Bill to get through college and got a degree in Psychology. I foster relationships between nationally renowned PTSD programs in the country and teach them how to navigate the system to get better programmatically. It is rewarding to see that come full circle. I work with a dedicated staff that shares my passion of working with Veterans. 

Tony, Program Manager, 33 years at VA

“I know nursing’s hard and you really, really feel sometimes you’re fighting an uphill battle, but you are appreciated, you make a difference, and you should always take time to remember that, even if you have only that one patient that says ‘thank you’ at the end of the day, sometimes that’s enough. And, you do matter.”

Luis, Nurse, Veteran

I am here because I believe I can have an impact on improving the quality of life of Veterans. It’s something I see every day here, a transformation occurs when people are given the tools to lead better, more productive lives. The personal interaction I have gives me a reason to get up every day.

Leonard, PTSD Programs, Veteran

“It makes you feel really good and really proud to serve Veterans and work in a capacity where you are recognized for your hard work.”

DaVilla, Pharmacy Technician

We focus on what is best for the patient at VA, how we move them through recovery and make a difference in their lives. Here, you can focus on the Veteran and not organizational expectations. We provide evidence-based compassionate care at its best. I have worked at VA for over twelve years. It is an honor and I really enjoy working with and serving our Veterans.  Dr. Alfonso, 12 years at VA

So many you share the same goal of serving and caring for our Veterans. Thank you for your dedication, passion and continued care. Through good times and challenging times, our mission does not change—do not lose sight of the good work you do and the great work that we can all continue to do.

[VA physician Katherine Chretien shared her opinion of working at VA in a recent USA Today column. Read more here.]

Author

Darren Sherrard