Now more than ever, VA is committed to recruiting and hiring health care professionals who are aligned with VA’s institutional values: Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence. Taken together—I-CARE. 

Robert McDonald, the newly confirmed Secretary of Veterans Affairs, recently spoke at the American Legion convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. In his address to this vital veterans service organization, he spent time discussing the importance of recruiting doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals who embody the I-CARE values. In his words, VA needs to operate cohesively as “One Team, One Dream” in delivering the best in care and services to Veterans.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

Teamwork makes the dream work.

How does VA get to One Team? A first step is to embrace the attitude that “Recruiting isn’t just for HR.” Secretary McDonald describes this principle in action:

Here’s how I look at it—on one end of the spectrum is an Air Force Lieutenant about to graduate medical school who tells her father, “I wouldn’t want to work for VA—have you heard all the bad stories about it?” On the other end is Nancy, about to graduate medical school as a neurologist, who told me on the plane back from Memphis, “Practicing medicine at VA is my dream job.” The only difference between hiring a great doctor and being shorthanded is misunderstanding what serving Veterans is about.

Recruiting top candidates starts with an internal climate “where everyone understands what the right thing is—and then does it.” This proactive atmosphere is dependent upon current VA employees in hospitals and clinics nationwide, people who uphold the values that let Veterans know, when they walk through our doors, that we are “all in” to our mission, keeping Veterans at the forefront of everything we do.

If you are a health care professional with a passion to serve Veterans, please visit to learn more about how you can contribute to our mission and make a difference.

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Published on Aug. 29, 2014

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