Sec. McDonald meets with non-government organizationsRecently, VA Secretary Bob McDonald met with leaders of 23 non-governmental organizations, his first official discussion with this group since becoming Secretary.

In the Sept. 29 meeting, McDonald thanked the organizations for their service to Veterans and updated the group on his Road to Veterans Day plan, accountability and mission focus at VA, and a number of other topics.  He also asked for their assistance in recruiting the best and brightest medical professionals to serve Veterans at VA medical facilities nationwide.

Sec. McDonald meets with non-government organizationsThe non-governmental organizations who attended the meeting are working with VA in serving Veterans through grant programs or other collaborative efforts.  VA is dedicated to working with all stakeholders, including these organizations, to fulfill its mission and improve service to those who have “borne the battle,” their families and survivors.  To do so, VA’s Road to Veterans Day strategies and actions seek to rebuild trust with Veterans and the American people, improve access to health care and service delivery, and set the course for long-term excellence and reform.

During this meeting, McDonald emphasized that he looks forward to continuing to engage non-governmental organizations and others key stakeholders groups in a discussion on enhanced collaborations that redirect and position VA to better serve our Veterans and their families moving forward.

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Published on Oct. 6, 2014

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  1. Lloyd Bardell October 9, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    The VA knows that a denial at the first level is mostly permanent without cause – it practices as an insurance company and denies any case, including covered cases, that it believes to be fraudulent – most cases that is. Once this happens there is almost no chance of obtaining benefits and for all practical purposes is a permanent de facto denial – even for those cases in error. There are only 65 or so BVA judges to handle appeals and about 50% of these appeals are sent into an endless remand cycle with the RO wherein the RO has been found to make errors in 75% of the cases so that the cycle is literally endless with no due process. Furthermore, it intentionally creates these backlogs – 1. quick denial of even covered claims forcing appeals with NOD – then one must wait for hearing with the BVA judge, then one must wait for the judge to review again – 3 years or more later, and then remand again because the VA RO has intentionally not fully complied with its response to the BVA again, again after several years of waiting time on behalf of the veteran and thus and so on. Why a 2 – step BVA process to begin with with only 65 judges? No other court like system does this. why can’t the judge make a decision within 30 days of the initial hearing? Why? – to create the backlog which serves both as a de facto denial and also to perpetuate the work of the VA employees through the endless and unaccountable circulation of paper at will and according to its own decision to ever get to a file – it may be decades.

  2. Danny October 7, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I apologize for using space in your comments section for a non related comment,but has anyone other than myself noticed that they took the opportunity to reply off of thestory about town hall meetings? I wonder why this is? Could it be that the transparency that has been bragged abouthas wound up biting them in the rear end? I wonder the secretary McDonald actually know what we are saying? so many questions, yet so few answers so many months after the promises were made. Now they’re firing people that have already announced their retirement!it has been said so many times band aids will not cure this!god bless our troops, God bless our veterans, and now more than ever, may God bless America!

  3. anthony provenzano October 7, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I am a veitnam vet I have been going to va medical center in northport I find the medical treatments doctor nurses and staff to be excellent all I keep hearing is complaints about the va people should be thank full for such a wonderful service as the va thank you

    • Jon October 10, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Hey Anthony, First off thank you for your service. Second I’m happy to hear that you receive great care from the VA.

    • Danny October 14, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Anthony, I too have given VA credit for saving my life. My problem is with the big bonuses Mgt gets and the shortages of personnel at MOST VA facilities. The more “cost effectively” they run their facilities, the bigger the bonuses! The Prescott, AZ VA won’t allow ambulances to bring in a veteran at night because they don’t have enough people in the radiology or the lab department. Heaven forbid a veteran have a heart attack or a serious ailment in the middle of the night! I have said it before and I will say it again the money is not the problem the distribution of the money is the problem! No more bonuses! just like our travel pay, why do we travel to the VA and they deduct $6 from our travel pay up to $18. a month? do you think the politicians or the directors get their travel pay deducted?

  4. Jon Dunbarr October 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    I realize that this request would be a stretch, however I would like VA Secretary Bob McDonald to actually visit all of the VA facilities himself, and not just the administrators but the individual clinics and meet with the veterans waiting hours for their appointments. I might suggest that he do this unannounced as well in order to get a REAL picture of what is going on. The scheduled visits with the facility administrators do nothing but allow the facilities to prepare and cover up the unacceptable practices taking place as well as the poor treatment of the veterans committed by the very staff they are supposed to be serving. A great way to start would be the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System and the Los Angeles Regional Office. Furthermore, he should do this under the guise of a veteran, sort of an Undercover Boss scenario. So much more to say but I know this will be transferred to the circular file so I will not waste anymore of my time.

    • Danny October 7, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      hey Jon, my brother I mean you no disrespect but RIGHT! I fear you are right about your comment going into the round file. You have a great idea but with our system being what it is it is my opinion that is as far as it will go a great idea. although the VA is OUR system, it is unfortunately controlled by our (?) government.I have several nephews that are currently serving, they feel the government doesn’t even care about them,imagine how little they actually and honestly care about the veterans, especially us old guys that are just a burden on the system anyway.

      • Jon October 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

        Hey Danny, No disrespect taken at all. We seem to be on the same page. It really is unfortunate however, I feel our concerns fall on deaf ears. If nothing else, it is nice to know that I am not alone in how I feel. I used to come home and vent my frustration to my wife after an appointment at the VA and although she does support me completely, she felt I was exaggerating. Then she started coming with me to my appointments and she could not believe what she was seeing and hearing. I can’t express enough that my wife is a very patriotic woman and she supports us veterans completely, and after seeing what is really going on at the VA with her own eyes and ears she gets so furious, sometimes more than I do, with the poor treatment overall. I have always been a strong advocate for myself and now she is sometimes an even stronger advocate for my treatment. It is not just my wife either as my teenage children have seen this as well on occasion and they will ask me why we get treated the way we do. Thank god for our families, without mine I would have given up long ago ad ended up another statistic in prison or in a grave.

        • Danny October 11, 2014 at 11:23 pm

          I’ve been with the VA for a number of years, I’ve tried many medications, I have even tried medicinal marijuana. The one medicine (if you will) that has helped me more than anything else for my PTSD is the most beautiful sweetest little 13 pound ShihTzu puppy that my wife and I saved from a trip to the pound. She is now my service dog registered with the VA. Anyone with PTSD should check out a service dog. The VA should have information about it.

          • Danny October 11, 2014 at 11:36 pm

            P.S. if your VA claims they can’t help you with a service dog,just know that I trained my dog myself and she is fully trained and the only place that you need to register one is at the VA. A service dog has to perform only two functions related to your disability.
            NOTE TO THE EDITOR: my PTSD makes it hard for me to concentrate long enough to write a good story. Perhapsyou could find a service dog expert to write a guest story to help veterans become more aware on service dogs.

  5. Sandra Demoruelle October 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    New VA Sec Bob McDonald is doing a great job reaching out to stakeholders at town hall meetings, to VSOs, as he did here, and to the House and Senate VA Committees.

    But more than just communicating admirable intentions, Bob (as he asks to be called) in “The Road to Veterans Day” has made the leap forward of focusing on measuring VA “success” by the Veterans’ OUTCOMES.

    To understand the difference of this change in mindset: its the difference between saying “I processed x # files today” and saying “x# veterans got a job with a salary of $40,000/yr or more today.”

    The establishment of a Multidisciplinary Health Advisory Group is another excellent idea. Along with a VACO Group, perhaps local MHAP could be set up that could work with local Ombudsman to handle problems as they arise and facilitate VA consideration of helpful suggestions.

    • Danny October 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Ma’am since I first read your comment I have wanted to ask are you a veteran have you ever been treated at a VAor are you a VA employeeor a politician? I don’t mean any disrespect but talking is doing no good. So far the town hall meetings have failedmy friends that work at my local VA are still being called in on their days offthey are still being called to work in different departments in which they have little or no experience and are being made to work overtime because they are so short staffed. What happened to the millions of dollars that were given do the Department of Veterans Affairs for new people? I will say that I am thankful to my local VA they helped save my life from cancer. However I see my brothers and sisters suffering everyday and I truly disturbs me I see executives getting big bonuses and it really ticks me off!I hear the talking from the politicians I hear veterans talking but nobody listening. Same old blah blah blah!

  6. JOSEPH Z ANDERS 3 October 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm


  7. JOSEPH Z ANDERS 3 October 6, 2014 at 8:44 pm


    OF 22 YEARS

  8. Lynn Halle October 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    How about the Secretary coming here to RI and talking to me. I have a lot to tell him about how for the past 15 years I have been refused proper treatment for PTSD and this VA refuses to offer Art Therapy like all others do so Veterans can get involved in the Veterans National Creative Arts Festival. The person at the PTSD Clinic who told me she was over-booked and refused to see me every 2 weeks is still “working here”. [Comment/name removed by editor] My brother in the Cheyenne VA hospital has not seen a Dr. for over 3 years! When are heads going to roll there? I, for one, am tired of all the lip service from Congress and this new Secretary. Time for action. Editor’s note: VAntage Point will not publish the names of people in conjunction with potentially libelous statements or ongoing investigations. Please withhold these type of comments until all relevant facts are known.

  9. Lynn Halle October 6, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    The VA Hospital here in Providence, RI, has removed the DAV from driving veterans to and from the different Boston VA Hospital as well as picking up veterans for their Providence Appointments that don’t have cars. The Providence VA is constantly trying to undermine the help given them.

  10. Kathy Mullins October 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    During the recruiting process I do hope that Secretary McDonald utilizes the companies that will do the best work for the VA and not the large corporate companies that just eat up the funds available. It would be nice to see smaller more committed companies offered the contracts. It will show Washington that not every business in the USA is out to take their piece of the pie, but they are willing to do the hard work and be a part of this new winning team.

    • Danny October 7, 2014 at 11:59 am

      what! No more $500. hammers? for those of you that think that is a myth, check the old records regarding the can openers that were mounted in the C-5A aircraft in the mid-70’s. the big companies have buddies that are politicians and that makes it okay for them to rip off the government. just like the problems with our health care the money is not the problem, the distribution of the money is the problem! Government is crooked and there is no way anyone can deny that. how is it that the president can only serve two terms, but we have congressman and senators that can spend 30 or more years in office. Do you think they are better than the president? Do you think they would ever vote to limit their own terms?ha ha ha ha ha. God bless our troops, God bless our veterans, and God bless America

  11. marvin s. johnson October 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    What about the backlog of claims?

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