The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has an important mission: caring for Veterans and their families, and VA has strong institutional values – mission-critical ideals that must influence day-to-day behavior and performance: Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence.
Secretary Bob McDonald outlines the “Road to Veterans Day”
To better fulfill our mission and to improve our service those who have ‘borne the battle,’ their families, and survivors, VA has developed The Road to Veterans Day 2014—a series of strategies and actions that will enable the Department to:
- Rebuild trust with Veterans and the American people;
- Improve service delivery; and
- Set the course for long-term excellence and reform.
Through these strategies, VA will work to fulfill the expectations of Veterans, our workforce and other stakeholders while instituting the operational efficiencies, the cost savings and productivity improvements, and the service innovations needed to succeed with a single metric in mind – Veterans’ outcomes.
A number of key actions, part of the Secretary’s Road to Veterans Day, have been taken or directed by the Secretary, including:
- VA employees have reaffirmed their commitment to the Department’s Mission and Core Values. This reaffirmation by the workforce will occur on an annual basis and will incentivize the strengthening of lines of communication. This will increase transparency between the workforce and leadership and help to hold employees accountable for their performance.
- VA leadership from across the country is directly engaging with Veterans, the workforce and Department stakeholders through a series of town halls and listening sessions.
- The Secretary has also focused on further building relationships with stakeholder groups who are key to mission success and has had meetings and conversations with Veteran and Military Service Organizations, union leadership, Members of Congress, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and others.
- In addition and most importantly, he is speaking and meeting directly with Veterans as he travels across the country to hear what is working and areas VA needs to improve.
- VA created a team of experts from across the Department focused solely on the timely implementation of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014.
- VA is expanding its recruitment and retention efforts Department-wide, in order to fill staffing needs and attract the best and brightest medical professionals to serve our Veterans by working at VA.
The Secretary will also be initiating reviews of existing programs at VA, for example:
- VA is renewing the Department’s Strategic Plan to ensure it is properly deployed and flows down to organizational operating plans and employee Performance Plans.
- VA will create a new Digital Services Team, recruiting and hiring the nation’s top technologists to partner with us in building and delivering world-class, cost-effective digital services to our Veterans.
- VA is reviewing and validating key programs, organizations and business practices to reaffirm that the current track is consistent with our mission and values, and assess progress toward goals.
- VA is working to adjust how the Secretary is advised on Healthcare by establishing a Multidisciplinary Health Advisory Group.
- VA will evaluate options for a potential reorganization that puts the Veteran in control of how, when, and where they wish to be served and measures success by the outcome for the Veteran. This will efficiently leverage VA’s resources and ensure integrated operations to deliver the best in care and services to Veterans.
- Through this process, VA will work with Veteran Service Organizations, Congress, Labor Unions, and other stakeholders to make sure that any changes or adjustments are focused on enhancing the Veteran experience