The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is keenly focused on improving the healthcare and general services that support our military veterans. Incumbent on these improvements is the integration of leading edge technologies that digitize and automate processes for efficiency along with important security enhancements.
ONE: Implementation of Electronic Health Records
The Department's efforts to modernize the way they store and access records for the nine million veterans they care for into a comprehensive electronic system has been well documented. These efforts involve upgrading all 1200+ VA facilities' existing systems to ensure better continuity of care, and are currently focused on moving EHR data to a cloud system that will be interoperable with the Military Health System. The ultimate goal is to ensure service members can seamlessly and digitally transition from DOD to VA health care, instead of needing to carry around stacks of paper forms as is current practice.
Scott Gould, the deputy secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department, will leave his post May 17.
"We have accomplished great things together including increasing access for veterans, decreased homelessness among veterans, and improved departmental management," Gould wrote in an email to staff obtained by Federal News Radio. "There is more work to do to achieve our goals -- under Secretary Shinseki's leadership, I know the department is well-positioned to accomplish those goals. After four years of intense and rewarding public service, I am ready for the next stage in my private sector career.
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki praised Gould's "advocacy and dedication" in a statement released April 29.
Another senior official at the Veterans Affairs Department is out because of the conference spending scandal.
Alice Muellerweiss, the dean of VA's Learning University, resigned today.
"VA has taken administrative action against two career senior executives named in the OIG report," a VA spokeswoman said in a statement. "One employee has subsequently resigned. The other employee has been reassigned to other duties."
In the post-GSA-scandal environment in which the very industry of convention organizing is under siege, the annual U.S. Army association's exposition at the Washington Convention Center is aiming to be a "gold standard" for military trade shows -- without the emphasis on gold.
Among the many lapses the Veterans Affairs Department may have committed in planning two lavish training conferences in Orlando, Fla., in 2011 was a failure to adhere to contracting procedures.
The inspector general's report on the $6.1 million pair of employee gatherings, which led to the resignation of the department's Chief Human Capital Officer John Sepulveda, focused mostly on overspending, wrongful acceptance of gifts by employees and unnecessary advance trips to plan the conferences.