In the Commentaries section of Modern Healthcare, the leading business publication for the health care industry, you’ll find a feature article about how today’s skilled health care executives can help bring needed reforms to VA. Unlike many other articles on the topic, I am pleased to say that this one offers a solution: an inspiring call to action. With 41,000 vacancies hampering reform efforts, this inspirational commentary is indeed welcome.
The author, Dr. David Shulkin, undersecretary for health at VA, invokes the public service message of President John F. Kennedy. In the early 1960s, President Kennedy galvanized Americans to join great tasks like the Peace Corps and NASA’s Apollo project.
Today’s Veterans in need of the best quality care provide a similar challenge to health care leaders. VA currently has executive openings at 25 percent of its centers. It needs leaders who can understand the dimensions of care, cost and training, who can have one eye on the needs of now and another on a vision of how the system can be improved to work at its best.
The article also points out some numbers that should pique the interest of any health care executive:
- Affiliations with more than 1,800 educational institutions
- Training levels of 120,000 people per year
- Training that encompasses at one time or another more than 70 percent of all U.S. doctors
- 1,500 facilities serving Veterans
Finally Dr. Shulkin discusses an exciting new initiative that blends VA with what the private sector has to offer: the new Veterans Choice Program. This program provides Veterans access to care as close to their home as possible. It’s just another of the many business innovations at VA.
If you’d like to be a part of a team developing even more innovative solutions for Veterans, take the first step and Join VA, today.