DAV Responds to Address by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald

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Contact: Charity Edgar
August 9, 2014

Las Vegas—DAV (Disabled American Veterans) a leading veteran service organization with more than 1.2 million members, released the following statement by National Commander Joseph W. Johnston, responding to remarks delivered by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald at the 93rd DAV National Convention. It was the first address to a veteran’s service group delivered by the newly confirmed Secretary:

“Today, Secretary McDonald painted a clear picture for how the Department of Veterans Affairs can and must move forward to ensure that all veterans can access the health care they have earned.

“There is a great deal of work to be done to rebuild VA’s capacity to provide all enrolled veterans with timely, high-quality health care. The Secretary outlined a clear, thoughtful agenda, one that reflects many of the steps that DAV has advocated: realistic funding levels; greater commitment to transparency; focusing incentives on patient outcomes and satisfaction; getting more VA staff out into the field more often to inspect health care facilities; improving technology and systems; and commissioning an independent audit of VA scheduling practices.

“We are especially pleased to hear the Secretary commit to strengthening how the VA monitors the use of private sector health care for veterans. We have continually expressed concern about the private care provisions in the recently enacted VA reform legislation. No veteran should wait too long or travel too far for health care, but providing a referral and a voucher or plastic card will not ensure that veterans receive quality care unless the VA takes a strong, consistent approach to coordinating veterans’ care among various VA and non-VA providers.

“We look forward to working closely with Secretary McDonald to strengthen the VA, including working alongside him and his team to, as he said, ‘improve…forecasting for resources.’ The Secretary’s commitment to accurately assess the resources needed to expand VA clinics and hospitals, and hire more doctors and nurses is an important step toward making sure the VA provides America’s veterans timely, high-quality health care.”

About DAV:
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.