Leading veterans’ service organization holds national convention to discuss critical issues facing the veteran community
WASHINGTON—DAV (Disabled American Veterans) held the opening session of their 96th annual National Convention at the Hilton New Orleans, Saturday July 29. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David J. Shulkin, addressed the audience of approximately 3,000 ill and injured veterans and their supporters.
Secretary Shulkin was nominated by President Trump to serve as the ninth Secretary of Veterans Affairs and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate February 13, 2017.
Before his confirmation as Secretary, Shulkin served as VA’s Under Secretary for Health for 18 months, leading the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with over 1,700 sites of care serving nearly 9 million veterans.
Already during his short tenure as VA Secretary, Shulkin has pushed for a significant transformation of the VA, including modernizing the veterans appeals process, accountability and whistleblower protections for VA employees, and prioritizing the needs of the veteran into a comprehensive health care system.
“We really couldn’t do the work that we’re doing without groups like you at DAV. Just yesterday we saw the impact and the results that your organization is able to do,” said Shulkin, referencing Friday’s House vote passing legislation to infuse $2.1 billion in new funding for the Choice program in the next six months and more than $1.4 billion for hiring and work force improvements.”
“The House voted 414 to zero, and it was really DAV and the other VSOs that made sure we were doing the right thing for veterans,” said Shulkin. “It will go to the Senate next week and we certainly expect their support. We’re going to be able to do so many more things to design the system in the way that it should be designed for veterans.”
“We were honored to have Secretary Shulkin attend our National Convention as his first time as Secretary,” said DAV National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “The state of the VA is at the forefront of our legislative priorities as an organization. To have the Secretary present to us the most up-to-date information is very important for our attendees.”
Before he began his service with VA, Secretary Shulkin held numerous chief executive roles at Morristown Medical Center, and the Atlantic Health System Accountable Care Organization. He also served as President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
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; providing employment resources to veterans and their families and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.3 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.