As part of our continued committment to reducing health care inequalities, VA is creating a new umbrella office to manage health care for Native American Veterans. We’re also expanding a recent program to help Native American Veterans in rural areas access VA health care more easily.
VA serves the most diverse group of Veterans in history, and we are committed to hiring a workforce that reflects that diversity. With this initiative and others, we are working to develop system-wide goals and objectives around diversity, inclusion, equity and access.
Better care for tribal areas
The new Office of Tribal Health will manage health care for all American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans, from those who live in urban areas to those on rural reservations.
We also plan to expand our Rural Native Veteran Health Care Navigator Program, which began in 2020, to several new facilities.
This pilot program aims to decrease barriers to health care services in rural areas by pairing Native American Veterans with peers in their communities – a role similar to our existing case managers. These peers will help Veterans access the culturally appropriate care.
The positions help Veterans pursue their individual treatment efforts and establish goals for recovery. This may take the form of learning and practicing new skills, helping Veterans monitor their progress, assisting with specifics treatment or modeling strategies based on the specialists’ own experience. All of this is done with a goal of supporting these Veterans and helping them advocate for themselves.
Going where you’re needed most
While there are many VA facilities in urban areas, rural VA operations, like those on reservations, are just as valuable, sometimes even more so. Our providers in rural locations can have a huge impact on the health of the entire community and can see the result of their care more holistically.
To strengthen staffing at these facilities, our Office of Rural Health has undertaken programs like the Rural Interprofessional Faculty Development Initiative (RIFDI). This program is designed to attract providers and improve clinician job satisfaction and retention. Through RIFDI and related workforce initiatives, about 70% of the most rural VA medical centers have added physician residents.
Benefits for you and yours
While working to care for an important cross-section of our Veteran population, you have access to an excellent range of benefits when you work at VA. Whatever your role, you have access to:
- Flexible schedules. Our employees receive 13 to 26 paid vacation/personal days, as well as 13 sick days a year with no limit on accumulation. We also celebrate 11 paid federal holidays each year.
- Robust insurance options. You can choose from a number of health plans and all cover preexisting conditions. Your spouse, domestic partner and children may also be eligible. In addition, VA pays up to 75% of health premiums, a benefit that can continue into retirement.
- Generous retirement packages. VA employees have access to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Similar to a 401(k) savings plan, the TSP allows employees to tax-defer a portion of their income each year. The government automatically contributes 1% of your salary, with additional matching contributions up to a total of 5%. For retired military, these benefits are in addition to full monthly retirement pay or pension.
Rural living itself offers advantages less common in urban locations: more privacy and personal space, less traffic, a greater sense of community and access to the great outdoors, and a lower cost of living.
Work at VA
As VA works to better care for the country’s Native American Veterans, you have an opportunity to join the team and be part of that mission.
NOTE: Positions listed in this post were open at the time of publication. All current available positions are listed at USAJobs.gov.