Secretary Shulkin Delivers His First ‘State of the VA’ Address
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin delivered his first “State of the VA” address today, highlighting the activity and direction of the agency since his appointment in February. In his address, Secretary Shulkin stated that he wanted to update Veterans on the progress the agency is making while also acknowledging the shortcomings that the VA has identified and will address in the upcoming months.
“As a physician, I tend to look at things in terms of the way I was trained — assess, diagnose and then aggressively treat the patient,” Secretary Shulkin said. “Though we are taking immediate and decisive steps, we are still in critical condition and require intensive care.”
The address covered a wide spectrum of issues within the VA, including Access to Care; Community Care and Choice; Accountability; and the quality of care provided to Veterans. Secretary Shulkin identified multiple priorities, such as reducing backlogs and getting more Veterans access to mental health care and suicide prevention programs.
Addressing improvements in accountability and VA administration, Secretary Shulkin stated that while he was able to initiate the Executive Order establishing the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection signed by President Trump, “further legislation is needed and needed now.”
The goal, the Secretary said, is to “turn the VA into the organization Veterans and their families deserve, and one that America can take pride in.”
A fact sheet highlighting some of the elements of Secretary Shulkin’s address as well as the text of his address can be found at: http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/StateofVA_FactSheet_5-31-2017.pdf
Monica Valdiviez, Commander Northern Capital Region Chapter, at the 2017 Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony in Washington DC.
Secretary David Shulkin Announces Establishment of Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection and Names Peter O'Rourke as its Senior Advisor and Executive Director
05/12/2017 05:42 PM EDT
Secretary David Shulkin Announces Establishment
of Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection
and Names Peter O’Rourke as its Senior Advisor and Executive Director
WASHINGTON -- Today U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin announced that he has established the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection in the Department, and that Peter O'Rourke will serve as Senior Advisor and Executive Director of the Office, reporting directly to the Secretary.
This announcement implements the requirements in President Trump's Executive Order signed at the Department on April 27, 2017 in one third of the 45-day timeframe required by the Order.
As detailed in the Executive Order, the Executive Director will:
O’Rourke is a veteran of both the US Navy and Air Force and has held executive roles in non-profit, consulting, and the federal government.
“I am pleased to announce the establishment of this office, fulfilling one of my highest priorities at the Department. We need to hold our employees accountable for their actions if they violate the public trust, and at the same time protect whistleblowers from retaliation,” said Dr. Shulkin. “Setting up this office under the strong leadership of Peter O’Rourke will give us the tools to do just that.”
69th National Mid-Year Conference
March 23-25, 2017
Double Tree by Hilton
502 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd
San Antonio, TX
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National contact: July 23, 2018
The American GI Forum (AGIF) of the US hosts 70th National Conference in
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, TX July 23, 2018 - AGIF members and guests to celebrate the 70th National Conference and founding of the AGIF of the US at the Wyndham hotel located on the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. Attendees will be welcomed by San Antonio City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzalez during the conference opening breakfast July 26. The breakfast is dedicated to youth and education. Students from San Antonio’s Dr. Hector B. Garcia Elementary School will receive awards and honors. The Master of Ceremonies is Leslie Cristan, Chairwoman, Beatrice T. Perez Women’s Chapter, and keynote speaker is Monica Herrera, Graduate of John Hopkins University and 1st Runner up for the AGIF 2014 National Conference Youth Scholarship Competition.
This year’s theme, “Seven Decades of Serving Veterans and their Families,” commemorates the original founders and the many members who continue to serve decades later. Attendees will recognize Carlos Martinez for his 46 years of continuous service to veterans through the American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP). Martinez will be recognized during a luncheon, reception and the Commanders Banquet for his commitment to veterans.
As part of the 70th anniversary celebration, conference planners have published a commemorative program featuring historical photos of past conferences and events. Be sure to get your copy.
There will be a special commemoration to remember and honor Corpus Christi, the birthplace of the American GI Forum on Thursday. Subsequently, exhibits and the Veterans Affairs workshops begin with opening remarks by Dennis O. May, Deputy Director, Center for Minority Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Corporate and Legislative Awards Luncheon keynote speaker is Herman Rodriguez, City Manager, City of Robstown, Tx. National Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez-Contes will present special awards during the luncheon.
Michael Trevino and Deryck Spooner will introduce a Smoking Cessation Program on Friday.
The Carlos Martinez Recognition Luncheon with Master of Ceremonies Ignacio Leija, NVOP (Ret) will include guest Speaker District 26 State Senator Jose Menendez and keynote speaker Harriet Dominique, Senior Vice President, Corporate responsibility and Community Affairs, USAA.
The evening culminates with the Commander’s Banquet with Master of Ceremonies Juan Mireles, Past AGIF National Commander, introducing guest speaker Allen Bergeron, Veterans Office, Austin, Texas and Keynote Speaker by Dennis O. May, Deputy Director, Center for Minority Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Women’s Leadership Luncheon on Saturday welcomes Keynote Speaker Dr. Catherine Rudowsky, Dean of Libraries at Texas A & M, Corpus Christi who will be introduced by Ms. Wanda Garcia, the founder’s daughter. National Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez-Contes, will facilitate a special presentation to the Blue Star Mothers.
State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and State Representative will attend the banquets. Other representatives include Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Ret.) and Major General Angela Salinas, USMC (Ret.), Girl Scouts of South Texas. Other representatives from General Motors, Citgo, AARP, AEP, Texas A& M and the NAACP are expected to attend.