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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


News Releases

Graphic saying New Secretary Takes Action to Ensure Project ARCH Veterans Continue to Receive Care Closer to Home - As the Project ARCH pilot program comes to an end next month, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald today announced that Veterans enrolled in the program will be able to continue receiving care closer to home. Taking advantage of options available under the Veterans Choice Program, such as the “unusual or excessive burden provision” and Provider Agreements, Veterans receiving care under Project ARCH will continue care without interruption when the pilot program ends August 7. (7/21/16)

Graphic saying New VA Announces New Partnerships and Collaboration - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced partnerships and collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, IBM and Bombas. The three, distinct, relationships are a part of the MyVA Strategic Partnership Initiative, which aims to work together with external organizations to improve the delivery and access of care for Veterans. The announcement of the three new partnerships came on the heels of the MyVA Advisory Committee meeting held last week in Boston. MyVA is the largest transformation in the history of VA. (7/18/16)

VA Schedules 2 Million Appointments Using Veterans Choice Program - The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Choice Program has reached a key milestone in improving access to health care for Veterans. More than two million appointments have been scheduled through the program.  (7/14/16)

VA Conducts Nation’s Largest Analysis of Veteran Suicide - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has undertaken the most comprehensive analysis of Veteran suicide rates in the U.S., examining over 55 million Veteran records from 1979 to 2014 from every state in the nation. The effort extends VA’s knowledge from the previous report issued in 2010, which examined three million Veteran records from 20 states were available. Based on the data from 2010, VA estimated the number of Veteran deaths by suicide averaged 22 per day. The current analysis indicates that in 2014, an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide. (7/7/16)

Statement by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald on the Commission on Care Report - Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald released the following statement on the Commission on Care final report.  (7/6/16)

VA Announces Departure of Acting Under Secretary for Benefits Danny Pummill - WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced the departure of Danny G.I. Pummill from his post as Acting Under Secretary for Benefits at the Veterans Benefits Administration. Mr. Pummill has served as the Acting Under Secretary since October 19, 2015. Mr. Pummill had previously planned to retire by the end of 2015, but upon the departure of previous Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey, he remained as head of the administration at the request of Secretary Robert A. McDonald. His continuing service helped ensure the critical continuity required to complete VBA’s transformation, and help expand the MyVA effort at the administration level. (6/16/16)

VA Partners with KaBOOM! To Support Veteran Families - Sometimes play is the best medicine. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is announcing a partnership with the national non-profit organization KaBOOM! to make play more accessible to children visiting VA Medical Centers and VA Fisher Houses. KaBOOM! is one of a number of partnerships formed under the MyVA initiative, the largest transformation in VA’s history, which focuses squarely on the needs of Veterans through customer service and strong community partnerships. (6/14/16)

VA Announces Formal Removal of Three Phoenix Health Care System Officials - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it has removed three senior officials at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. The move follows an announcement in March in which VA proposed the removal of Lance Robinson, the facility’s Associate Director; Brad Curry, Chief of Health Administration Service; and Dr. Darren Deering, Chief of Staff. In addition to other causes, the three were removed for negligent performance of duties and failure to provide effective oversight for not ensuring Veterans were either properly scheduled for appointments or placed on an appropriate wait list. (6/8/16)

VA Announces Partnership With Non-Profit Organization, Leanin.org - The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Women Veterans today announced a partnership with LeanIn.Org, the nonprofit organization founded by Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, to empower women to achieve their ambitions. Building on the successful launch of LeanIn.Org circles within the Department of Defense, VA is following the same model to increase support to women Veterans. (6/2/16)

VA Secretary Provides Relief for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald has granted equitable relief to more than 24,000 Veterans following a national review of Traumatic Brain Injury medical examinations conducted in connection with disability compensation claims processed between 2007 and 2015. (6/1/16)

VA Launches Veterans Legacy Program - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced the launch of the Veterans Legacy Program to memorialize Veterans’ service and sacrifice through public educational programming. The program uses the rich resources found throughout VA national cemeteries, Soldiers’ lots and monument sites. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald announced the program yesterday during a Memorial Day ceremony at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California. (5/31/16)

VA Proposes to Grant Full Practice Authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing a rule to grant full practice authority to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) when they are acting within the scope of their VA employment. Full practice authority will help optimize access to VA health care by permitting APRNs to assess, diagnose, prescribe medications and interpret diagnostic tests. This action proposes to expand the pool of qualified health care professionals authorized to provide primary health care and other related health care services to the full extent of their education, training, and certification to Veterans without the clinical supervision of a physician.  (5/29/16)

Ahead of Memorial Day, Seven VA National Cemeteries Are Added to the National Register of Historic Places - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that the U.S. Department of the Interior has added seven VA national cemeteries to the National Register of Historic Places. The recognition coincides with the national celebration of Historic Preservation Month each May and comes ahead of a weekend of Memorial Day observances at VA National Cemeteries nationwide. (5/27/16)

Statement from VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald - On Monday, I made some remarks on how we’re working to improve Veterans' satisfaction with the care they receive from VA. It was never my intention to suggest that I don't take our mission of serving Veterans very seriously.  (5/24/16)

VA Announces Telemental Health Clinical Resource Centers During Telemedicine Association Gathering - As the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) works to improve Veterans’ access to health care, its telehealth services play an integral role in that process, said Dr. David J. Shulkin, VA’s Under Secretary for Health. Dr. Shulkin spoke today to members of the American Telemedicine Association attending the group’s 2016 conference in Minneapolis, where he also announced the establishment of five VA Mental Health Telehealth Clinical Resource Centers to provide enhanced mental health access and services to Veterans in remote locations.  (5/16/16)



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