Several VA health care facilities recently received VA Patient Experience Awards for patient experience improvements.

Facilities received the awards during a virtual VA Patient Experience Symposium. More than 450 VA leaders attended VA’s first Patient Experience Symposium in person in 2019 to share best customer experience practices from across the nation. Many of the practices shared last year at the symposium were put in place by VA employees since, contributing to a steady rise in Veteran trust of VA health care.

Watch the full VA Patient Experience Awards event.

Trust in VA health care has increased 5% since 2017 and is currently about 90%. The rating means about 90% of Veterans in the past 90 days have responded to Veterans Signals surveys with “I agree” or “I strongly agree” to the statement, “I trust the VA for my health care needs.”

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and Veterans Health Administration Executive in Charge Dr. Richard Stone both addressed VA health care employees. They tuned in from the more than 170 VA Medical Centers and 1,200+ clinics that make America’s largest health care system.

“I also want to congratulate all Veterans Health Administration staff who dedicate your lives to providing the best, most compassionate care to Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “You’re building stronger and stronger bonds of trust between our Veterans and VA.”

Stone said that during COVID-19, VA health care employee absentee rates have been some of the lowest recorded in history. He said this reflects on a culture of dedication to mission.

The following winners received 2020 VA Patient Experience Awards:

Best Experience winners

Most Improved

Innovation Competition winners

Recipients received the awards based on performance in patient experience, employee experience, and trust. Finalists were compared in Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Survey, Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL), and Veteran trust as measured by VA’s Veterans Signals real-time customer experience data program. Veterans completed more than five million surveys since 2017.

Geneva Robinson from the Birmingham, Alabama, VA Medical Center received the lifetime achievement award. She’s spent more than 50 years of service, most of which have been spent improving patient experiences.

Joe Cupples, a Marine Corps Veteran, is the Red Coat Ambassador of the Year for his creative ways of welcoming Veteran patients at the Altoona, Pennsylvania, VA Medical Center.

Unit 3E staff at the Minneapolis, Minnesota VA Medical Center lead by Associate Director Martina Malek earned the Own the Moment Award for 2020 for quickly innovating a safe virtual connection between a Veteran dying of COVID-19 and his daughter.

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Learning from best practices in both VA and private sector, VA has created and implemented Patient Experience tools. This ensures every employee is trained and focused on providing Veterans not only with the care they need, but also with care that is delivered in an exceptional and consistent manner.

For more information on VA Patient Experience or the VA Veterans Experience Office visit:

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Published on Jul. 27, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2.8 min.

Views to date: 944


  1. Peedee Wyre July 30, 2020 at 1:31 am

    I have been in the VANCHCS/Northern California VA system since early 2009. That’s Oakland, Martinez and Mare Island, Sacramento and “points north.” Primary, Oncology, Pulmonary, Cardiology, Podiatry, Psychology, Ophthalmology, Urology, Pharmacy, Phlebotomy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Dietitian, Physical Therapy, Dental: all are fabulous nurses, doctors, techs and clerks.ikd a lot of you, I’m 75, a VietVet, Agent Orange lymphoma and other problems, but their skill and a great system allow me to lead an independent life. I am respected and I return the respect, with grateful thanks. I must also add my compliments and thanks to the great folks at “Fort Miley” [the San Francisco VA] and their E.R. folks, including the very sharp med students from UCSF. Thank you all.

  2. Joshua Noe July 29, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Where can I find the full list?

  3. Scott Celley July 28, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    We know that many members of the VA team are working hard — through the difficult challenges of the pandemic — to continuing providing improved care for America’s veterans. It is nice to see some of the best recognized for their leadership in improving patient and veteran care.

  4. Infoguidefrek July 28, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    VA health care has increased 5% since 2017 and is currently about 90%. The rating means about 90% of Veterans in the past 90 days have responded to Veterans Signals surveys with “I agree” or “I strongly agree” to the statement, “I trust the VA for my health care needs.”

  5. Jesse Locksa July 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    I would like to thank and commend Doctor Edward Alper (Emerald Clinic – main VA Hospital – Phoenix, Arizona). Dr. Alper is my Primary Care Physician. I am 72 years old and I served in Vietnam (67-68). I am coping with the physical challenges on my body as a result of my service. As I age, these issues become more and more challenging. From the day I first met Dr. Alper, I was both very happy and impressed. Dr. Alper is very kind and compassionate person and always gives you the time to explain things and to interact with him. He always allows you to have the last word at the end of your contact with you when he asks if there was anything we did not cover before we end our contact. I never feel rushed and I always feel good about our contact together. If he tells you he is going to do something for you, it is completed right away. He has given me great advice on my health and how I can improve it. It is a lot easier to meet the physical challenges I have with a person like Dr. Alper at my side to help me. The Phoenix, Arizona main VA Hospital is fortunate to have him on their staff. Dr. Alper’s patient’s are lucky to have him as their Doctor.

    Jesse Locksa

  6. Martin E Eliason July 28, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I’m especially grateful for the 8yrs of outstanding care in every department I’m involved with at the St.Cloud, Mn. VA. They’re too many people to name but I thank you.

  7. keith July 28, 2020 at 1:31 am

    You give the best, most improve, etc, but what about posting the worse or least improved patient experience achievements to let the rest of the veterans and the employees they need to improve and we feel about a site.

  8. Tracy Hobson July 27, 2020 at 11:19 pm

    Regarding your eight facilities that were recognized, I would like to comment my experience. I am a Vietnam Veteran that will be 75 years of age in November. I have my health care with VA in Washington, D.C. My primary care is Doctor N.. Goraya; my eye doctor, Dr. M. Maiberger are the BEST. I had Mrs. Sharon Johnson in the Oncology Dept., but she was promoted to another dept. and she was the Best. If I could somehow ask for an award or letter of appreciation from VA, I would. They are GREAT. I must say, that I receive great service from the Washington, D.C. Hospital Center.

    Thank You
    Tracy O. Hobson

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