VA Secretary Bob McDonald has begun to take action against the executives who have created and perpetuated a “culture” of mismanagement and indifference within the VA. He has visited 40 VHA sites in the past four months, and has begun the process of removing 40-plus VA executives and hundreds of other VA employees, consistent with the findings of Congress that led to the passage of a $16+ billion federal law calling for the investigation and overhaul of the VA. McDonald and the VA Deputy Secretary, Sloan Gibson, seem committed to carrying out a complete transformation.
It will take more time than anyone wants it to, but it promises to become a very different sort of VA for those who need and deserve high-quality healthcare from this hitherto-dysfunctional agency. Here at ACSWA, we are particularly interested in seeing the behavioral healthcare system reformed, with dramatic results in the shameful record of veteran suicides (for example)—one every hour of every day in every week—and far more efficient use of VA clinical social workers, educated and trained and prepared to take a much greater role in direct service to the VA’s customers.
Image via VAntage Point.