After almost a year of disconnection, desperation, loss, isolation, and numbness because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now more hope and positivity around us. We have new weapons in the war against the pandemic – three safe and proven vaccines that can significantly protect us from hospitalization and death caused by the coronavirus.
This good news means that now is the time for VA to evaluate the lessons it has learned in the past year: the processes we’ve developed to provide efficient, optimal care to Veterans, and how we’ve recalibrated to improve the nation’s largest integrated health care system. But, how else can we best serve our Veterans for the many years to come?
The first step is listening to you – tuning into your thoughts, opinions, ideas, needs, feelings and suggestions for building a VA that best serves our mission. You are what’s most important to VA’s future, and your opinion is the most valued.
We want to hear from you
VA will be holding public virtual listening sessions across the country from March 2021 through June 2021. We want to hear the voices and insights of Veterans and the communities that VA serves. We are hosting these sessions to learn from you how we should design a health care system of the future, and how to grow its services for Veterans in a way that also reinforces VA’s role as a leader in U.S. health care.
Your feedback will be used to develop the recommendations that VA submits to the Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission in January 2022. The AIR Commission will also conduct public hearings as part of its review of VA’s recommendations before submitting those recommendations to the President and Congress for review and approval in 2023.
These listening sessions represent an exciting opportunity for Veterans to help VA reimagine how we deliver care in an equitable, high quality, Veteran-centered manner and to develop a plan for investing in VA’s aging infrastructure. It won’t be just talk – we are committed to modernizing VA significantly and we want to make sure we are in close step with the Veterans we serve.
Now is the time to help determine the future of VA. We can’t do it without you.
Where and how
Additional information, including session dates, times, and registration information, is available at https://www.va.gov/HEALTHPOLICYPLANNING/listening.asp.
Dr. Richard Stone is acting under secretary of health for the Veterans Health Administration. He is a retired Army major general and Veteran of the war in Afghanistan.