“Veterans are the only ones who really know what it means to stand on that dangerous ground between freedom and tyranny,” VA Secretary Bob McDonald told the crowd assembled at the 117th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention this morning in Charlotte.

In addressing the convention, McDonald highlighted the progress VA is making on transforming the department to better serve Veterans.

“Can the Department of Veterans Affairs be fixed? Can it be transformed?” McDonald asked. “The answer is yes. Absolutely. Not only can it be transformed, transformation is well underway and we’re already seeing results.”

McDonald highlighted changes in leadership at VA — both internal and external — since he joined the department. “Changing VA means changing leadership,” he said. “Thirteen of our top 18 executives are new since I became secretary.” Eight of those new leaders are also Veterans.

The work of the MyVA Advisory Committee and the partnerships VA has forged with public and private sector organizations have also impacted VA’s transformation. “New leadership, innovative collaboration, expanded partnerships — all of that matters. These are powerful, productive partnerships for Veterans” at the federal, state and grass-roots level, McDonald explained.

For more of McDonald’s speech to the VFW, including progress VA is making on access to health care, the claims backlog and ending Veterans homelessness, watch the full remarks.

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Published on Jul. 26, 2016

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  1. melvel Stuart Evans IV July 31, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Been fixing it over a year now and I see no improvements here … you do not and letters sent to you and the waits for seeing a Doctor are too long …..was 182 pounds and now am 132 pounds …

  2. melvel Stuart Evans IV July 31, 2016 at 11:26 am

    xyzing@aol.com will you fix it before I died as result of long waits and poor Doctors

  3. Don Williams July 29, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    What about the Veteran’s Choice Program? I read that the Associated Press has discovered that the VCP has failed under a pile of red tape. Congress acted in 2014 to reform the VA and the VCP was created. ID cards were printed and mailed with a cover letter which introduced the program in early 2015. That is the last any of us seem to have heard from it. How much money (taxes, loans from China, printed, etc.) has been wasted through this “Dog and Pony” show???

    • liz August 2, 2016 at 2:23 am

      Don W.
      How do we get 60 Minutes to air a Segment on this piece of corruption? I would love to tell them how this Officer Honorably Served for 9 years, 100% disabled, was granted VCP to a Spine Specialist for 3 visits and 2 days before a procedure was denied the re authorization and was called by the Director of the VAHC and told he could not understand how I was even granted VCP in the first place; but I would not be getting any re authorization in the future either.
      Yes, I contacted the Medical Director. Yes, I contacted the Honorable, Dr. Robert A. McDonald, and even OIG. I got Nada.
      Someone is getting Bonuses for not using the VCP dollars Congress handed to the VA Health Department, and I’m guessing its the Medical Directors and Directors at every VA Health Center across the Nation.

  4. James M Brophy July 26, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    As an 90 percent 8 year Vietnam veteran and 22 years with the VA Health Care Systwm. My last position was Associate Medical Center Director, Boston VAMC, I struggle with both the VA Regional Offices as well as the Pittsburgh VAMC.
    They fail to followup on anything at the VA and leave you out there to fend for yourself actually.
    I have had an appeal in for unemployability for a couple of years now. I hear nothing. They are non communicative and could care less about veterans and their concerns.
    I am thoroughly disgusted at this point.
    James M
    Upset and frustrated veteran…..

    • Linda Smith July 26, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      James M,
      Call Bob?
      I heard that his voicemail is full. Try the Under Secretary?
      >Bob McDonald seems to sincerely care about veterans
      even if he can’t possibly be there for all veterans and the divisions
      he’s responsible for are filled with resistance and rogue employees.

      The VA employees know that when they break the law, they
      are not going to be reprimanded. #backlog is more important.

      I’d love to join a VA Yoga class and get some acupuncture.
      I’d love to paint and draw and make a sculpture while listening to music @ VA.


      *I wish you well James.


  5. Linda Smith July 26, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    VA COBC here in my community does not answer their phone.
    You get an answering machine. Are they always ‘out to lunch’?

    There is no women’s representative at the COBC in Kingston, NY.
    I pay a $20 copay at a private therapist.
    I owe countless copays to private doctors.
    It’s a shame since I’m a veteran receiving 50% comp for mst/ptsd.

    Yoga? Acupuncture? Art/Music therapy?
    Seriously, how do you expect me to believe you Bob?

    Bend me, poke me and sing me a Pied Piper song.

    NY VARO has had my mst/ptsd claim since 2006.
    NY VARO informed me in 2016 that my NOD was denied for being untimely appealed.
    *I didn’t have a NOD. I had a BVA appeal.

    The VARO Rater used my attorney’s legal argument as a NOD filed late.
    A law judge never saw my PTSD/TDIU argument, because of that rater
    undermining my claim.
    Is that fair?

    Sorry, Bob, I’m not seeing a good reason to call the CBOC clinic in town.
    Sorry, Bob, I’m no believer in biased and corrupt employees at VARO NY.

Comments are closed.

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