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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


News Releases

Graphic saying New 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)

Rosemary Williams Appointed as VA Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs - Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today welcomed the appointment of Rosemary Freitas Williams as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Public Affairs.  (5/13/16)

Two VA Employees Lauded For Their Work With Homeless Veterans - Two Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) employees were named finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America medal, also known as the Sammies. The Sammies, called the “Oscars” of government service, are a highly respected public service honor named for the late founder of the non-profit organization, Partnership for Public Service. The awards align with his vision of a dynamic and innovative federal workforce that meets the needs of the American people. (5/10/16)

Hundreds of Injured Military Veterans from Around the Globe Come to Orlando to Compete in the 2016 Invictus Games - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proud to support the over 500 ill and injured military Veterans from 15 Nations who have come to Orlando, Fla. to compete in the 2016 Invictus Games taking place May 8 – 12, 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.  (5/6/16)

Improving the Veteran’s Experience through MyVA Communities - As part of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) MyVA initiative, the largest transformation in the history of VA, VA is reporting the progress and growth of the locally led, community-driven initiative, MyVA Communities.  (5/4/16)

VA selects new Director of the Center for Women Veterans - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced the appointment of a new director of the Center for Women Veterans. (5/3/16)



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