Secretary McDonald Unveils New Face Of VA

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New Face Of VA

Benjamin KrauseThis Veterans Day 2014, the new face of VA was unveiled by Secretary McDonald. He rolled out the new model yesterday to all VA employees via email and plans to conclude a blitzkrieg of media exposure throughout the day. According to the Secretary, this new face of VA will serve the veteran better and ensure more connection with local communities around VA facilities.

[Read Robert McDonald Email]

Watch the CNN video above where Wolf hammers Secretary McDonald about Sharon Helman. Beyond this, in a nutshell, the new model will help VA be more customer service centric by creating greater opportunities for interaction by creating a separate customer service arm. Here are the top four changes:

1. Real Customer Service For Veterans

Establishing a new VA-wide customer service organization to ensure we provide top-level customer service to Veterans.  A Chief Customer Service Officer, who reports to the Secretary, will lead this effort.  The mission of the new office will be to drive VA culture and practices to understand and respond to the expectations of our Veteran customers.

This certainly is a testament to how long it takes for VA to catch up with modern thinking. Right now, VA apparently has no functional model that focuses on treating veterans like customers. In the private sector, the agency would not make it long in the competitive market. This new approach will truly test out VA’s ability to adapt.

Can you believe VA has taken 100 years to finally learn that veterans are the customer?

2. Less Guesswork Between VA Regional Offices

Establishing a single regional framework that will simplify internal coordination, facilitate partnering, and enhance customer service.  This will allow Veterans to more easily navigate VA without having to understand our inner structure.

To give some context, VA moved to a decentralized management model in the 1980’s with the goal of allowing greater autonomy. The plan obviously failed because VA could not be trusted to police itself. As a result, veterans died and fraud was widespread. The new approach will allow greater predictability and greater enforcement of standards.

This could also mean the old saying, “When you have been to one VA, you have been to one VA,” will hopefully go the way of the dodo bird. VA employees tended to smile like there was some kind of pride in lacking predictability while being part of the same organization. Hopefully, this change will eliminate the issue and create coordination between facilities.

3. Greater Community Involvement Via Advisory Councils

Working with our partners to establish a national network of Community Veteran Advisory Councils to coordinate better service delivery with local, state, and community partners.  Expanded public-private partnerships will help us coordinate Veteran-related issues with local, state, and community partners, as well as VA employees.

This sounds positive so long as the councils are selected from area advocates and business leaders rather than selecting only VA and veteran organization ‘yes’ men and women.

4. Less Service Duplication

Identifying opportunities for VA to realign its internal business processes into a shared services model in which organizations across VA leverage the same support services to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase productivity across VA.  Right now, we are looking at options used in the private sector to enhance our rapid delivery of services and also at our own business processes that are suited for shared services.

On the surface, this fourth tenant makes sense. However, I can imagine the union will push back because any time the term “improve efficiency” pops up, it usually means “eliminate union jobs” when it comes to VA. Nonetheless, I have no doubt VA could use to trim some fat, especially when it comes to redundancies.

I think this new face of VA is a good place to start as long as VA increases accountability when VA employees venture outside the ethical boundaries.

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10 Comments

  1. I said it before, and I’ll say it again….I’m glad Bob is at the helm now. I can see he’s already implementing some organizational changes to make the VA more efficient and effective (modeling after Procter and Gamble). I hope the VA really gets behind this effort and makes it work.

  2. I DON’T BELIEVE A FUCKING WORD OF IT. THANK YOUR “ALLISON HICKEY FOR NOT COMPREHENDING THE BIGGER PICTURE OF A LETTER! I HAVE YET BEEN ABLE TO GET ANYONE TO SERIOUSLY “PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS” ASSHOLES! I SAY SUE YOUR ASSES FOR THAT STUNT-AND THANKS, BUBBA BOSTON AND THE OTHER BUBBA GOT A CALL CALLED CONCERN FOR MY WELFARE. “LYDIA WASNT GOING TO CALL ANYONE, AND BITCH, I STATED I AM LAYING ON A HEATING PAD TO LIKE GET MY PAIN TO FUCKING GO DOWN A KNOTCH? THESE BLOODY BASTARDS DIDNT GET, YOU DO REPEAT ON ME. I GAVE AN ANSWER, “LIFE IS NOT MEASURED IN MINUTES BUT BY EACH BREATH YOUR GRANTED.” NOW, WHY WOULD I SAY SUCH SHIT? IS IT BECAUSE I WORKED IN ER’S, ICU AND CCU OCU OH AND DONT LET ME FORGET TELEMTRY AND EVEN AS STATED MAINTAINED A BODY IN A STATE WE CALL HOMEOSTATSIS A DELICATE BALANCE SO THE TRANSPLANT TEAMS CAN HARVEST ORGANS. I AM SURE THAT FAMILY DIDNT EXPECT SHE DIDNT KNOW HER NEXT MINUTE RIGHT?
    WHEN YOUR MEDICAL YOUR NOT NUMB TO THE PAIN AND LOSS OF OTHERS, MANY TIMES IT BRINGS OUT THE HUMANITY EACH PERSON IS CAPABLE OF HAVING. MAN THIS WOMAN IS BUSTED. I DONT NEED YOUR BULL SHIT ON MY PLATE! SORRY SAW WHAT I GOT FROM THE DALLAS VILLAGE IDIOT OF ALL OTHER IDIOTS UNDER THIS ONE!
    WE WANT TO GIVE YOU THE MOST COMPASSIONATE CARE “HOWEVER,” ( OKAY, I KNEW AT 18 YOU DID NOT SAY “HOWEVER” IT SHOWS A LACK OF COUNSELING PRINCIPLES, NICE BUT NOW I AM GOING TO BITCH YOU OUT. “YOU MISSED YOUR 9/9/2014 APPOINTMENT, ACTUALLY ASSHOLE IT WAS CANCELED, GEE, “MUST BE THAT BACK INJURY WHICH MY DOCTOR READ YOUR SHITTY LETTER TOO AND ALSO WENT OFF ABOUT NO FURTHER TESTING DONE. YUP, ITS ON THE PAPER, I AM SO DANN HONEST I TOLD A DOCTOR WILL HAVE A HEAD THAT ROLLS, NOT MINE SWEETIE AND IF YOU DONT THINK YOU HAVENT CREATED ENOUGH STRESSORS BECAUSE YOUR “THERAPEUTIC SHORTCUTS.” WAIT IS THIS LIKE WHEN THE MILITARY ( and the VA) GAVE YOU ACID AND WE ARE JUST YOUR HUMAN LAB RATS?”
    I EVEN MADE MY CASE QUITE CLEAR TO A LUCKY ME EVENT DIDNT KNOW MY DAY WAS GOING TO END HORRID TORMENT, “DIDN’T KNOW MY HEATING PAD AND TRYING TO RELAX MY BODY WAS A DANGER TO SOCIETY! OH AND YANKED THE HELL OUT OF MY LEFT ARN IT HURTS TO USE A DAMN STYLUS? SCREAMING AND BEGGING AND I DO NOT SCREAM, THIS BITCH LYDIA CALL ME BACK YOU CHICKENSHIT! YOUR RECORDED, MY DOCTOR THINKS “VA FUCK UPS! SUE THEM! HE IS CONCERNED BECAUSE OF MY DETERMINATION TO LIKE WALK MAY BECOME A NO LONGER CAN DO. OH YES YOU DAMN IDIOTS, A SINGLE CELL IN MY BODY KNOWS WHAT TO DO AUTOMATICALLY, BUT I THINK A NEW DISEASE HIT-“FUKUSHIMA PLANKTON, GET IT AT YOUR NORTH TEXAS VA! JUST FYI THEY SURE HAVE TO SETTLE A LOT OF COURT CASES!
    LETS SEE, TALKING TO A PROFESSOR OF WHAT WAS GOING ON-AS I WANTED AS STATED FOR VETERANS! I SWEAR THE USA SEES ITSELF IN THIS MICROCOSM AND IT IS FILLED WITH TONS OF FECAL WASTE, DONT BREATHE NEAR THEM. ANGRY? WHY SHOULD I GET ANGRY AND BE HYPERVIGILANT BECAUSE OF THIS STUPID IDIOT THAT LIVES IN HER NEXT MINUTE LAND. GEE THATS LIKE A MARINE TALKING TO HIS BUDDY ON PATROL AND HE SEES HIS FRIEND TAKE HIS OR HERS LAST BREATH? DOES IT TAKE A MINUTE OR CAN IT JUST HAPPEN AND NOT EVEN A FULL BREATH.
    I FEEL CUT IN HALF LYDIA YOU ASS WIPE, BUT DONT WORRY BECAUSE NOW ITS IN THIRDS. OH, THANKS FOR THE LUXURY STAY NEAR A HUGE ROOM OF PEOPLE AND I CANNOT SEE AN EXIT. YOU SET ME BACK SO LONG AGO THAT I DONT THINK THERE IS ENOUGH MONEY YOU COULD OFFER FOR IT. “LYDIA DEAR, WHEN YOU CALLED THE POLICE AND I STATED, “NO MORE DENISE QUESTIONS ENOUGH GOODBYE!” YOU WERE REDUNDANT IN ASKING THE SAME QUESTION OVER AND OVER HOW MANY TIMES? I ONLY KNOW THE NEXT BREATH LYDIA BECAUSE NO EXPIRATION DATE HAVE I WITNESSED ON ANYONE PERSON IVE EVER DEALT WITH SHOWED ONE?
    TIME-A FUNNY WORD THAT IS. WE MARK OUR BIRTH BY WHAT TIME 03/29/1961 @ 12::20A.M., IN A LITTLE TOWN THAT HOUSES A BIG INTERACTING WITH OTHERS ON A COMPUTER CALLED PRINEVILLE OREGON, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I DIDNT COME OUT WITH INSTRUCTIONS OF HOW TO BE RAISED ( BITCH BECAREFUL MEAN I CAN BE A COLD HEARTED BITCH AT THAT!) DID YOU EVER THINK TO READ, COMPREHEND, UNDERSTAND IT, AND SEE THE FUCKING BIGGER PICTURE?” DID YOU TELL THOSE BUBBA BIG BOYS ANYTHING ABOUT MY BACK AND A PROBLEM AND JUST CAME HOME TO CALM MY BODY DOWN, THEN YOU JUST HAD TO RUIN SOMEONES DAY, I GUESS I GOT LUCKY! GEE, I WAS HONEST AND FORTHRIGHT IN MY RESPONSES, “WAIT, I WAS CALLED A LIAR AT MY C&P EXAM, AND JUST FYI YOU ALL, THE DEAL FOR MST IS BEING CALLED IN FOR “YEARLY CHECKUPS,” ( means they want you off the dole) FOR PTSD AND WHATEVER SHALL YOU DO WITH MST VICTIMS, YOU HAVENT A FUCKING GOD DAMN CLUE! I SWEAR MY PINKY TOE COULD DO BETTER AND YOU DIDNT GET THE FUCKING POINT LYDIA !!! YOU ARE NOT A TRUSTWORTHY INDIVIDUAL THAT I WOULDNT LET A COW LICK YOUR ASS! (BROWN NOSER SHE IS, AND FOS TOO)
    HEALTHCARE THERE? OH HELL TO THE FUCKING NO! CHANCES GIVEN, TOO MANY AND YOU HAVE FAILED ME! SHIT I SAY I DONT NEED YOUR SHIT BUT YOU MAIL IT TO ME ANYWAY? WHO DOES THAT SHIT? MY BACK INJURY WAS OLD. I DID THINGS NATURALLY, BUT IT WAS ALWAYS THERE. I WOULD RATHER BE KEPT BUSY AND NOT DWELL ON IT, TRUST THIS, IT WAS WORSE IN 1994 AND IT SEEMED SURGERY CENTRAL ALL THE DAMN TIME BUT MY BACK HAPPENED ON YOUR WATCH-GET IT, OWN IT, NOW FIX IT! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! WHAT A GODDAMN DIRECTOR TALKS TO PEOPLE EITHER WITH VOICE OR A LETTER, IT IS VERY CONDESCENDING AND SHOULD BE THROUGHLY SCRUTINIZED BECAUSE ONCE AGAIN! ONE GODDAM IT YOU FUCKING IDIOTS HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY TELL YOU MISED THAT? WELL ACTUALLY A WHOLE LOT OF NO DETAIL WORTH CHECKING AND SEEING ANYTHING DONE MEANS ONE THING TO ME-“BIG REJECT!”
    HOW MUCH ARE MY LEGS WORTH VA? YOU WANT TO ANSWER THAT? OH AND MR DALLAS TOP OF THE HEAP OF VILLAGE IDIOTS AND FUKUSHIMAXPLANKTON DISEASE, YOU EVEN SCREWED IT UP, SERIOUSLY, GI BLEED IS NOT RECTAL BLEEDING AND IWITH MOST OF ALL I NEVER “INDICATED THAT WAS THE SOURCE OF MY BACK PAIN.”
    SKILL SETS YOU LEARN IN BASIC GRAMMER SCHOOL-NOT AT THIS VA-SERIOUSLY FROM FEBRUARY TO THIS LAST MONTH YOU GET ME TELLING YOU DID YOU SEE THIS PORTION HERE? THERE NEVER WAS, BUT WAS SUPPOSE TO HOWEVER LIARS ONCE AGAIN! ON MY PHONE DUDES! DUH! YOU JNOW LIKE GEE I MEAN REALLY YOU LEFT A MESSAGE ON MY PHONE! SCARY FOR YOU ALL-YOU DO NOT LISTEN INSTEAD TRY AND HAVE SOME MORON CALL ME FROM PAIN MANAGEMENT “LETS MAKE IT ALL BETTER SO YOUR LIFE IMPROVES OKAY?” YOU KNOW, THESE FOOLS DONT GET IT, SOME OF US TRULY KNOW ARE SHIT. AND GOLLY GEE “ANESTHESIOLOGY” ( PAIN MANAGEMENT NOT ENOUGH DRAW FOR JOBS SO A NEW THING CALLED PAIN MANAGEMENT!) “LYDIA LYDIA FLY AWAY HOME, YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE AND YOUR CHILDREN ALONE.”
    WHAT A BUNCH OF CROCK! TRUST ME, YOU WILL HEAR AGAIN FROM ME-FUNNY WHEN I STATED TELL THAT BITCH SHE WAS RECORDED! WHY? BECAUSE LYDIA-YOU ARE LOOKING PRETTY STUPID RIGHT NOW, TRULY, A CONCERN YOU SAY? SO IS THAT WHY IT WAS A COUPLE SAYS OLD?
    I HAVE SHARED MY KNOWLEDGE AND YES, I DO KNOW THE ROLE OF A SOCIAL WORKER AND LYING TO THE PERSON BECAUSE YOU ARE ANNOYINGLY STUCK ON REPEAT-GEE BUTCH, DONT YOU THINK THAT WAS STRESSING ME OUT MORE? I CAN SIT AND DO NOTHING, WELL, I LIE, I CANNOT SIT WELL AT ALL OR MY SEWING MACHINE WOULD HAVE WHIPPED UP A PRINCESS COSTUME AND THEN PLAY THE LITTLE MERMAID ON IT TOO.
    DID YOU NOT NOTICE I STATED THAT “EVERYONE HAS A PLAN?” LIKE I KNOW THE WHO HUMAN BEING NEEDS TO BE WELL BEFORE HELPING OTHERS. “HOWEVER,” I DO NOT MIND TALKING SOMEONE OFF THAT CLIFF YOU DIMWIT!
    FOUR LETTERS ONE IS A VOWEL
    “BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK OH AND YES! HOW COULD I BE SO SILLY AND FORGET FLASH BACK CITY TO 18 LYDIA, BASIC PSYCHOLOGY AND EVEN ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY YOU WEREN’T EVEN CLOSE AT ALL OF WHAT “USING AND KNOWING AND PAYING ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS?” CASE CLOSED-YUP, TONS OF IDIOTS THAT GATHER IN THE HIDDEN CAVE WITH THEIR FEARLESS DIRECTOR THE ONE CELLED BEING BUT DOUBT ANY GREY MATTER OPERATIONAL-FACT-APPEARS ON FAUX PAS VIEWS, YEAH, AS NO ONE CAN TOUCH YOU, YOU KNOW YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR A BIT GERMAPHOBIC BUT AT LEAST YOUR PLANKTON GETS THEIR “SOUP TIME” HOPING BETTER COMES OUT!

  3. Stupe-Dupes are we if we believe that the VA will change for the better with Obama-Hillary-Warren-progressive bureaucrats running it.

    IN FACT-O, the Obamacare architect smugly admits that the “lack of transparency” is a huge advantage against the “stupidity of the American voter”!

    Watch the video to hear how the Obama-Hillary-Warren-progressive government’s mission is to conceal the truth about its treachery to people, like you and I.

    For veterans, the Obama-Hillary-Warren progressive government’s mission at the VA is to continue its lack of transparency because it is a huge advantage against the stupidity of the American veteran!

    If you vote stupid, you get a corrupt VA.

    End of story.

    Carry on.

  4. I would just like to meet the DVA idiots that believe HIPAA prevents VBA adjudicators from seeing a claimant’s medical records from the VHA. Or the complete jerks in OGC that classified compensation and pension exams as “legal” rather than medical documents.

    There are some fundamental changes that would improve the DVA 100 fold, but I see none of them here. What I see is the beginnings of another sleight of hand, cover-up, public appeasement effort to appease public perceptions.

  5. Sorry, but I prefer to continue using Medicare and my private sector medical professionals and not the damn VA. I see all this as HAVING potential, but like others, will believe it when I see it and think this was just a BIG Veteran’s Day Public Relations candy coating to make American Public think all is okay now in “VA Land”.

    They are not addressing the serious issue of the SAME lazy ass people are going to be working there and SAME asses in management. Until it’s a STANDARDIZED VA, meaning “If you go to one VA location you have been to ALL”, am not risking my physical and mental health with these wackos.

    • Smart move. But there are pockets of improvement opportunities for the Veteran now. At least I learn from repeated VA mistakes what I should ultimately do (basically what they tried to do without the idiotic mistakes). And for the first time in a few decades, I am starting to get some where.Thank goodness for the computer communicating information.

      Just remember, ALL public Western Medicine hospitals along with drug companies are the most evil entities there are. It happens in all hospitals, but just a lot more in VA hospitals from lower wage paid personnel. At least you are heads up about it due to the camaraderie of soldiers passing information real-time. Most of it is a waste of time granted, but I still try to learn from blunders and keep pressing what and who does work! A few good people in the VA organization can make all the difference in the world. Just when I am about to give up, someone will help me.

      Peace.

    • I`m happy for you that you have that option. I`m not being a smartas$ I truly am. I want only what is best for ANY Vet. But, I can`t have them take the 100.00 out of my income for Medicare. It`s that simple. But, I do have to drive almost 400 miles round trip to see my V.A. Specialist and 100 miles RT to the Clinic. It`s not because I love the V.A. I pass a hospital and a Brand new Clinic. 3 blocks from my home to get to the V.A. I had rather go there. MOST Would ask Would`ntr be better to just go onto Medicare? In my case no. I live on 1037.00 a month. House payment, Utilities ect leave me with 130.00 to eat (And whatever) on for a mo. I can`t OR Wont, Cut my Bologna Sandwich in half. “When” my 90 mod. F-150 quits I WILL have to give in. til then i`m Livin Large In TX. While Waiting for V.A.Claim denial. See, I got this. They got me surrounded “Poor Bastards”

  6. Obviously I must be the only one in America that appreciates VA medical care…it is the only place I go though I could go to private medical care under TRICARE and Medicare. I found private practice frustrating both because of the multiple places you need to go for treatment and the hassle of dealing with insurance and co-pays. Maybe the Orlando MHC is the exception, but I am always treated there professionally and with respect. Again, am I the only one happy in America with VA treatment (yes, I did face many hassles in getting my paperwork approved for disability and had to hire a lawyer to get everything I as entitled, but that is another story unrelated to the quality of care I receive now from the VA.)

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