The Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health system in the nation, serving 9 million veterans at 1,293 health care facilities across the country. From our frontline staff at those medical centers, to our leaders in Washington, D.C. we work daily to provide the best care anywhere to those who served. Our priority is to provide veterans timely, well-coordinated access to care.
In 2014, we faced concerns about long wait times. This led to an erosion of trust between VHA, veterans and the public. Since then, VA has undergone tremendous transformation. We are operating with a renewed focus, unprecedented transparency and increased accountability. Today, as demand for our services grows, veterans are telling us they see a real difference and their trust in us is higher than ever. We remain committed to earning and sustaining that trust.
A 2019 Veterans of Foreign Wars survey showed 91 percent of veterans who use VA health care say they would recommend it to another veteran. With recommendations like that, it’s no wonder we are seeing more requests for care at VA than ever before. In fact, in some areas of the country we’re seeing incredible growth in new veterans enrolling in VA care. Notably, far more women veterans are receiving care through the VA as well, accounting for 30 percent of enrollment increases during the last five years. Since 2001, the number of women veterans receiving their care at VA has tripled.
Battle Against Virus
The amount of outpatient care we provide has increased every year since 2014 for both care within VA facilities and through community care, except during the pandemic. In 2020, in-person care across the U.S. health care industry, including VA, dropped by about 40 percent. As the U.S. health care system grappled with this impact, VA leveraged the scope and scale of our integrated system to continue to deliver excellence to veterans — and we went above and beyond to support COVID-19 care in the struggling private sector in 47 states, the District of Columbia and tribal communities.
With safeguards in place, VA’s frontline employees shifted their focus to caring for veterans and civilians with coronavirus in a battle against a virus like nothing we’ve seen in our lifetimes. We are incredibly proud of the thousands of VA employees who raised their hands to serve beyond their prescribed VA duties – in support of local communities. (continue reading)
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