Veterans service organizations and the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents roughly 230,000 employees at the Veterans Affairs Department, say the President-elect’s nominee to lead the agency is a pleasant surprise. Dr. David Shulkin, the current VA undersecretary for health, should give the agency some continuity during the transition, they said.
The Veterans Affairs Department says it’s earning back trust and confidence from the veterans it serves, and employee engagement within the department is also improving. This comes roughly 10 days before the VA Commission on Care is expected to pitch a major overhaul to the department’s health care and personnel systems.
Roughly half of a congressionally appointed commission to reform the Veterans Affairs Department suggested an expansion of community care for veterans and a systematic closure of some VA medical facilities. The “strawman document” emerged as the VA pilots a few new programs to help veterans gain more control over their health care.