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!