June 12, 2017

Senator Hassan Joins Colleagues in Introducing Bipartisan Bill to Address Chronic VA Workforce Shortages

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) in introducing a bipartisan bill to address the crippling workforce shortages at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to improve health care delivery for America’s veterans.

There are currently 45,000 staff vacancies at the VA. Approximately 38,000 of those positions are responsible for delivering front-line care. The VA also faces a high turnover rate of medical staff for higher-paying private sector positions and challenges recruiting qualified staff in rural areas.

The Senators’ Better Workforce for Veterans Act will improve the VA’s ability to recruit and retain qualified medical professionals.

“Veterans across New Hampshire and America have demonstrated a selfless commitment to keeping our nation safe, secure and, free, and we must do more to ensure that the VA has the staff and resources it needs to provide the quality care that veterans need and have earned,” Senator Hassan said. “The bipartisan Better Workforce for Veterans Act will help address longstanding staff deficiencies at the VA that have caused unacceptable delays in delivering care for veterans.”

The Better Workforce for Veterans Act will do the following:

  • Create a VA-wide database for vacant and hard-to-fill positions.
  • Expand successful partnerships that bring recent graduates, veterans and private-sector employees to the VA.
  • Cut red tape to allow the VA to hire Licensed Professional Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists.
  • Provide funding and flexibility to hire dynamic regional and local VA leaders.
  • Survey why employees choose to leave the VA.

 

 “AMVETS applauds the introduction of the Better Workforce for Veterans Act which would improve oversight, and the current systems in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enable sufficient recruitment, hiring, and retaining of well-trained staff,” said Joe Chenelly, AMVETS National Executive Director. “We fully support this measure and believe that it would benefit VA in providing the top-notch care that veterans earned, and deserve.”

“I applaud your efforts to strengthen the ability of the VA to recruit, hire, retain and engage the talent it needs to accomplish its incredibly important mission,” said Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “Vacancies in mission-critical and mission-support positions directly impact the services provided to our nation’s veterans. This legislation would address many of the challenges the department faces in fillings these critical jobs.”

More information about the Better Workforce for Veterans Act can be found online HERE.

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