WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) met with Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert McDonald, where they discussed working together to create a long-term strategic vision for the VA and help shepherd legislation that will make it easier to reform the VA to make it more efficient and better serve our nation’s veterans.
The meeting today came in response to a letter Senator Tillis sent Secretary McDonald in April outlining preliminary recommendations based on best business practices to improve the delivery of care at the VA. Tillis’ recommendations include clawing back unnecessary layers of bureaucracy at the VA, keeping VA facilities open longer to serve more veterans more quickly, getting new health care providers qualified into the VA system faster, exploring the use of urgent care, expanding sharing agreements with medical and academic institutions, and taking steps to improve staff morale and performance at VA facilities.
Senator Tillis and Secretary McDonald, a former soldier stationed at Fort Bragg, both have extensive experience with helping manage large and complex organizations in the private sector. Tillis served as a top-level executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM, where he consulted major businesses and helped them implement long-term transformation institutional strategies. McDonald was the widely respected President and CEO of Proctor & Gamble prior to his nomination as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“The VA system faces unacceptable and persistent problems, and Secretary McDonald and I agree that the VA is in desperate need of a long-term strategic roadmap that completely rethinks the way the VA delivers care to the brave men and women who have served our nation,” said Senator Tillis. “A collaborative effort between veterans, the VA, Congress, and leaders from our outstanding medical and business communities can help play a key role in implementing a strategic vision to make the VA more efficient and provide our veterans with the timely, quality care they deserve.”