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REVAMP [CONTINUED FROM PAGE 55]


the National Legislative Service at Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Over- whelmingly, veterans are satisfi ed with the care they receive. Our surveys have determined that 87 percent of veterans who use VA health care would recommend it to their fellow veterans. The qual- ity is undisputed.” “The challenge we have isn’t


to provide a quality experience. We do that,” Gibson told the adviso- ry committee in Boston. “The prob- lem is with the system surrounding the care.” In the past, inadequate attention


was paid to training, leader develop- ment, and succession planning. Lead- ers rarely even talked to employees. VA leadership now is actively trying to engage VA employees in the trans- formation process and is cultivat- ing transparency and accountability


throughout the organization. A dy- namic program — Leaders Develop Leaders — is facilitating the neces- sary change of culture at all levels. Comprehensive planning is in place, based on a high-performance organi- zation model, and out-of-date tech- nology is being replaced. “Unfortunately, Congress’s inability


to move key pieces of legislation has really slowed up the transformative change that MyVA is all about,” says Bill Rausch, executive director of Got Your 6, referring to the Veterans First Act, which received full bipartisan sup- port from the Senate Veterans’ Aff airs Committee but has yet to be brought to the fl oor for a vote. “There’s legislation sitting on the Hill that would allow the VA to provide better service to more veterans across the country, and no one is taking action to push it though.” “We have all this commentary


about veterans in the political cycle,” McDonald says. “It’s troubling to me


because the fundamental work is not being done. I don’t like veterans being used as political pawns.” “It is a team eff ort,” Fuentes says.


“We need the support of [the] VA, the veterans’ community, and Con- gress to be able to enact the change that’s necessary to rebuild trust and confi dence.” “The VA has opened up their ap-


paratus to ask stakeholders — to ask veterans — what they need, what they want,” Rausch says. “Because [Secretary McDonald] has put the veteran at the core of every decision that’s being made, I’m confi dent — if Congress would support the MyVA initiatives — that the VA will be well on its way to becoming a world- class organization that every veteran would proudly call ‘my VA.’”


MO


— Christina Wood is a freelance writer based in Florida. Her last feature for Military Offi cer was “Caring for Women Veterans,” March 2016.


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