VA employees insert stents to relieve crushing chest pain. They take time to explain procedures to Veterans concerned about a diagnosis. They nurse fellow Veterans back to health, and they counsel those in crisis. They assess slides, recommend therapies and improve communications to let Veterans know which services are available and where. And through event outreach and career fairs, they make sure VA has the quality personnel ready to fulfill the nation’s commitment to care for millions of Veterans, no matter where they live.

Today, on National Employee Appreciation Day, VA Careers shines a light on the physicians, nurses, allied health and other professionals of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) who do this daily work away from the spotlight. They are the caregivers, healers, counselors and assistants serving 9 million Veterans enrolled in VA care around the nation.

We thank the leaders and staff at more than 170 VA medical and outpatient centers around the country who are contributing to VA’s success as a healthcare organization. Their work helped VA facilities outperform community-based private-sector hospitals, according to a recent study by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont.

We thank VA providers for getting Veterans into care more quickly. Data from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), released Jan. 18, 2019, found that, in 2017, VA physicians, including primary care doctors and cardiologists, saw patients 12 days sooner than their private-sector counterparts.

Training the next generation

We thank VA for training America’s next generation of healthcare professionals. Led by the Office of Academic Affiliations, more than 120,000 individuals receive clinical training at VA each year. These future healthcare professionals come to VA from nearly every medical school, over 1,800 institutions and nearly 8,000 individual programs to work across more than 40 different health professions.

We thank employees for their spirit of collaboration, which has transformed VA into the largest integrated healthcare organization in the nation. This cooperation across specialties makes going to work special, said James Papadatos, a pharmacist at the Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. “We get to work with very talented people at the highest level of our profession and work with different disciplinary teams: doctors, nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners as well,” he said.

We are thankful for the skills and expertise of VA employees, which contributed to raising VA 11 spots, to sixth best place to work among large government agencies, according to the 2018 Best Places to Work survey.

“VA’s employees are among the industry’s best, and we can’t thank them enough for their accomplishments, passion, professionalism and dedication to getting the job done every day on behalf of the nation’s Veterans,” said Darren Sherrard, Associate Director of Recruitment Marketing at VA.

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Published on Feb. 28, 2019

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