As we prepare to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, now is the perfect time to remember that, at VA, our goal is to grow a diverse workforce and cultivate an inclusive work environment representative of our Veteran population.

We believe that by capitalizing on the diversity of our team and purposefully embracing inclusion, we create an environment where we not only engage with our Veterans, but are empowered to deliver outstanding care.

History and purpose

National Hispanic Heritage Month began on Sept. 15. This date coincides with five central American nations declaring their independence from Spain on Sept. 15, 1821. Mexico declared its independence from Spain more than a decade earlier on Sept. 16, 1810.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we take time to share in the history, heritage and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans, especially our teammates and the Veterans we care for. By honoring this culture, rooted in all Latin American countries, we learn more about each other, and become a stronger team because of this shared knowledge.

Why we embrace diversity

“Cultivating diversity in our workforce improves health care for all Veterans,” said Dr. Cynthia Nuttall of the New Mexico VA Healthcare System, which welcomes approximately 100 undergraduate nursing students annually to increase the diversity and competencies of its nursing workforce.

“To provide the best possible care for all, providers must be able to communicate with patients and understand their needs in a culturally competent manner,” she explained.

It is important to have health care professionals who can understand the cultures of different ethnicities,” agreed Marianna Block, a registered nurse with the Miami VA Healthcare System.

A native of Ecuador, Block joined the Miami VA team after completing our Post Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency (PB-RNR) program.

“I have found that Hispanic patients have been able to communicate their emotional and physical problems better in their principal language,” she said.

A continuing commitment

All Veterans are unique, and we know that health care is not one-size-fits-all. Diversity in our personnel helps bridge the gap in health care disparities, an attitude that has been adopted at the very top of our organization.

“To ensure a welcoming environment for Veterans, we must foster fair and inclusive VA workplaces where the experiences and perspectives of our diverse employees are valued,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough in March 2021. “The success of our mission depends on everyone being able to contribute their expertise, experience, talents, ideas and perspectives.”

As we serve the most diverse group of Veterans in history, we reaffirm our commitment to hiring staff that reflects that diversity, ensuring that employees feel supported as they provide equitable health care to all who come through our doors.

Work at VA

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with our nearly 30,000 teammates of Hispanic heritage and see what we can do when we embrace the strengths found in our diversity.

By VA Careers

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Published on Oct. 7, 2022

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One Comment

  1. Ma October 9, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    I am glad the VA thinks we should have health care workers that reflect our cultures. I agree, ESPECIALLY DOCTORS,
    The VA sometimes seems to be going heavy on hiring those that reflect the cultures of a very small percentage of us, rather than keeping diverse and representing All if us.

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