At his confirmation hearing last May, Dr. David Shulkin vowed big changes for the VA. Born on an Army base, where his father was a psychiatrist, Dr. Shulkin expressed his deep commitment to Veterans health. He said, “The VA needs more doctors, more nurses and greater efficiency from its current systems…. The status quo is simply unacceptable.” Now in his role as Undersecretary for Health of VA, he is looking for other medical professionals to join him in this effort at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
Along the way, he has received one of the top recognitions in the industry. Modern Healthcare now ranks Dr. Shulkin number 12 among its Top 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders of 2016. Modern Healthcare, the number one publication in readership among healthcare executives, cited Dr. Shulkin for taking on the complex challenges of VA as well as for his innovative approach. The article mentions the roll out of the “Annie” app, an automated text messaging application geared toward improving self-care efforts of Veterans.
Annie, which will be available on the VA app store, is currently in field testing with a limited audience of Veterans. With this self-care tool, users will be able to send and receive messages securely about their health data and readings. They can also get automated appointment reminders and graph the data they have sent through Annie for easy tracking.
At the beginning of the year, also in Modern Healthcare, Dr. Shulkin drew attention to the needs of the VA for the best professionals:
- Nearly 41,000 vacancies
- Executive opportunities at approximately 25% of VA medical centers and regional networks
Dr. Shulkin underscored the significance of these gaps: “With so many vacant positions, it’s difficult to fix our access issues and continue to make the progress needed in other areas. To effectively tackle the issues facing the VHA, we must start by identifying and hiring more of the right leaders.” If you would like to join Dr. Shulkin in this challenge, we encourage you to Join VA. VHA offers the singular and unique feeling of immense personal and professional satisfaction of helping those who have served our country in uniform. You’ll find positions across the country – big city or small town – that provide outstanding benefits and competitive salaries.