Reforming and modernizing VA was the topic as VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin addressed a full house of Veterans at the 73rd American Veterans (AMVETS) National Convention in Norfolk, Virginia, on Wednesday.

Shulkin spoke to Veterans and their families regarding his priorities the department, including what is being done to streamline the disability claims process, update the Veterans Choice Program and make VA more accountable to Veterans and the public.

Shulkin highlighted the unique services VA can provide to Veterans in the areas of prosthetics, PTSD and environmental exposure care. He also discussed the importance of finding the right balance between community care or private capacity and VA’s own internal expertise. Doing so, he said, allows VA to provide the best value to both the Veteran and the taxpayer.

Shulkin’s comments on disability claims and the progress of appeals modernization were met with thunderous applause from the audience.

On accountability, Secretary Shulkin highlighted President Trump’s commitment to Veterans and the bipartisan efforts of Congress in signing in to law the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. Recently, VA began taking a further step on transparency and accountability as a follow-on to the new legislation making a list of adverse employee actions taken since January 20th available online.

Secretary Shulkin also addressed a recent ruling of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board that forced VA to take back a fired employee, the former director of the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center. Shulkin reiterated to the audience his public statement on the ruling, that “no judge who has never run a hospital and never cared for our nation’s Veterans will force me to put an employee back in a position when he allowed the facility to pose potential safety risks to our Veterans. Protecting our Veterans is my most important responsibility.”  He shared that VA will use new evidence and the legislation recently signed by the president to conduct an assessment of the decision.

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Published on Aug. 9, 2017

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  1. Charles moore August 14, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I have been on disability for a while from Vietnam nam. I was in artillery and have had hearing problems for a while and I got a 10 per cent on tendinitous so I applied for hearing loss about a month ago and I received a letter two days that they turned me down and also made my 10 per cent to 0 per cent. I’m scared to try for anything else for they may drop my other disability. Also I had to get me insurance on the outside to get help for my knee. It has not got better for veterans yet

  2. Charles McFall August 12, 2017 at 5:30 am

    The VA choice program is another way to screw over veterans, I have been in it two years, then I started getting doctor bills. Tri West said it ran out the day before my doctors appointment.

  3. Jon Parssinen August 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    All well and good, but where is the VA DENTAL CARE?

  4. james contarino August 10, 2017 at 11:58 am

    We need truth.we need the accountability to do what it should do.we hear the we need to see action on the accountability.

  5. Arnold Cabral August 10, 2017 at 11:20 am

    To whom it may concern can you please as a Concerned Veteran can you please hired a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist that know how to put in G4implants unfortunately they have not one works for a Veteran Medical Center plus their isn’t not one has a contract with Veteran Affairs Admistratation Thanks for Your Support and Stay Healthy and your Family and your Staff

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