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Linda Bund, retired from VA: ‘What attracted me to federal service was, quite frankly, pay parity and opportunities for women.’

In honor of Federal News Network’s May We Say Thank You event, throughout the month of May, we are featuring former federal employees’ first-person stories about their careers as shared with NARFE. (Send a thank you to a fed you know now.)

I am a recently retired (2020) federal civil service worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Beginning as a laboratory technologist, I was privileged to observe and be part of the great team...

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In honor of Federal News Network’s May We Say Thank You event, throughout the month of May, we are featuring former federal employees’ first-person stories about their careers as shared with NARFE. (Send a thank you to a fed you know now.)

I am a recently retired (2020) federal civil service worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Beginning as a laboratory technologist, I was privileged to observe and be part of the great team of federal healthcare and IT workers who — through the emergence of the internet, transformation of computer technology, and the development and implementation of the Veterans Affairs electronic medical record (the Computerized Patient Record System, or CPRS) — contributed to the excellent patient care of our nation’s veterans.

My last assignment was as chief health informatics officer at the Veterans Health Administration’s James J. Peters VA Medical Center in Bronx, New York.

My career at VA afforded me many wonderful opportunities, travels and life-long relationships, but I would say what I enjoyed most was the ability to mentor new staff through the various student training programs. Recruiting IT staff was difficult, but the student programs fostered the opportunity to attract hundreds of very capable and talented individuals and prepare them for careers at VA.

One of the most memorable events in my mind was the day we “plugged into the internet.” Kind of like the falling of the Berlin Wall, it just happened — no fanfare — just like that. Because of this, VA had the first interlinked, integrated electronic medical record (EMR). Forty years later, CPRS — developed by healthcare teams — is still preferred in annual surveys of public and private providers over newer EMRs.

What attracted me to federal service was, quite frankly, pay parity and opportunities for women. When I started, there were few female service chiefs and virtually no female medical center directors. Today, there are many. I found that opportunities were limitless if you worked hard and put your efforts toward excellence in service.

I loved my job and the professionals I worked with, and I do not regret for one minute my time working for veterans.

Thank a fed you know

Thank current and former federal employees you know for their public service during Federal News Network’s 2022 May We Say Thank You event, sponsored by NARFE. Say thank you now.