Secretary Wilkie announces redesigned VA.gov built with input from Veterans

'We've put Veterans first and we'll be working to expand and improve services for all of VA's customers'



Hello, I’m Robert Wilkie, Secretary of VA, and I’d like to welcome you to the newly redesigned VA.gov.  I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again: my main priority as Secretary is simple – to give our customers the best possible experience the minute they encounter VA. Today, we’re doing just that with the new VA.gov – the new online front door of your Department of Veterans Affairs.

We didn’t sit around a table at VA and design this new website by talking to each other. We talked to you, our customers. And when we did, we learned that you cannot find the tools and services you need online. We learned that our services are delivered within silos forcing you to figure out which number to call, website to search, or office to visit. That’s not your job. That’s ours. This is a frustrating experience and you deserve better.  We also heard that there are two letters that mean a great deal to you: V-A. These letters also mean a great deal to me and the many people I’m honored to work with every day.

We are VA. And we’ve come together across organizational boundaries to focus on what’s best for you. This launch is showing everyone that when we’re united in our cause, great things can happen. The new VA.gov consolidates information and places it in one easy to navigate location. It gives you the top 20 tasks you need – because you told us what they are – right up front. It gives you the ability to do simple things, like update your name and address, with a click of a button. One time, in one place.

After that, the system will do the rest – updating your name and address in many other health and benefits systems across VA. You’re able to do these things when you visit your favorite private sector website.  And, you should be able to do them at VA. Today, you can. We’ve also tested the new site with you, our Veterans, and one recently said, “VA is finally pivoting from focusing on its organizational structure to helping me as a Veteran.”  This is what it’s all about – customer service.

We’re proud of this first step to modernize VA.gov. We’ve put Veterans first and we’ll be working to expand and improve services for all of VA’s customers. So, take a look around, kick the tires, and let us know what you think!

Author

Robert Wilkie

The Honorable Robert L. Wilkie was sworn in to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs on July 30, 2018. He also served as the Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs from March 28, 2018 to May 29, 2018.

Before confirmation as VA Secretary, Mr. Wilkie served Secretary James Mattis as his Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness—the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for Total Force Management as it relates to readiness, National Guard and Reserve component affairs, health affairs, training, and personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and the quality of life for military families.

Comments

  1. Jersey Jeanne Goldy-Sanitate, MS-OD    

    OOPS my bad, I referred to the Secretary as Director. I sincerely apologize for this error…

  2. Jersey Jeanne Goldy-Sanitate, MS-OD    

    I would love to talk to Director Wilkie. As a female veteran, who has used the VHA medical services since 1985 after my medical retirement/discharge from the USAF and an ex VHA employee from working in MCCR the late 1980’s and up to a Low Vision Specialist then Optometrist in the VHA Blind Rehab Services until forced to retire due to my SC MS, I could provide a unique perspective on what would make the VHA a better system for both the veteran and employees. But having the opportunity to talk to Director Wilkie, is a pipe dream as I will NEVER get the opportunity to talk to the Director to offer this perspective because this most likely is just the LIP SERVICE I have been hearing since 1990 when the VHA supposedly worked to make the system more veteran centric in the past. The problem is not the VHA, it is a select few employees there who have the PCC (Pay Check Collector) attitude. Until the top understands that the VHA will continue to be a target for bad press, privitazilation and source of many veterans anger for not receivng the care they are eligible for and have earned…. Best bet to get a real perspective, speak to a veteran who gets care there as well as works or has worked there…

  3. Scott Grassi    

    Thank you Secretary Wilkie and your entire staff for your dedication to help veterans navigate the complex entity called the VA. As a veteran I know first hand how difficult and confusing government agencies can be.

    I’ve been receiving health care through the VA in Anderson, Greenville, and Columbia, SC and have nothing but the highest praise for the staff at all branches. Online services are very easy to navigate. I keep finding new links to beneficial services that directly impact the high level of care I have come to expect.

    Keep up the phenomenal progress and again, thank you.

    1. Mary Covello    

      Since you state your happy with the medical staff/services, I’m assuming your problem has something to do with eligibility (in some program) or demographics? Have you (or the patient advocate) contacted the HAS dept chief?

  4. Cleveland J Natola    

    Thank you for the improvements you continue to make within the entire VA system! Much appreciated. I am utilizing this avenue because I have no others. I am a 100% disabled Veteran that needs some assistance. How does one contact someone higher up than the local VA admin office? I cannot seem to get any names or contact information for someone that can assist me to get an ongoing problem solved within the local VA Administration? I have had an on going problem with the local VA Admin since early February of this year. I contacted them numerous times on the phone in Seattle, WA, Vancouver, WA and Denver, Co all from the same phone number. Everyone I have talked to about my problem has been very positive, friendly and agrees that the VA should have taken care of this error, but no one can seem to get it taken care of. After months of getting nowhere with them I searched out and found the Patient Advocates in the local Seattle VA Admin office. They attempted to get my problem solved and after a couple of months concluded that they too were being “Stonewalled” and they could not get an answer from the higher ups. So I then resorted to contacting my local Congressman Rick Larsen’s office for assistance in getting this problem resolved and they now have been working on this for over 3 months without any answers? This problem is very straight forward and uncomplicated and that makes all of this very ridiculous. I would seriously like to know how an individual Veteran such as myself can contact someone within the VA to get results for a situation like this?
    I would like to further state that I am 100% satisfied with my medical staff and the treatment I get and my local CBOC in Mount Vernon, WA, I have had no issues with the VA medically, However, Administratively they need a great amount of work.
    Thank you

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