June 6, 2014

Support in Times of Need

Rich Umbdenstock, AHA President and CEO

For decades, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been there in times of need. A terrible problem with patient visit scheduling has emerged, and it’s caused significant organizational, political and personal upheaval. Many members are asking AHA’s take on the broader situation and how community hospitals can help. Let me share our view. First, the VA does extraordinary work under very challenging circumstances. The current situation pains us all because we know the skills and dedication of so many of our VA colleagues. We also know that with crisis comes chaos, and only with time comes longer term perspective. While the VA leadership is regrouping, we stand ready to listen and respond. We’re also in touch with key players on Capitol Hill in regard to the development of legislation that provides opportunities for private hospitals to offer assistance in helping the VA care for our veterans. And we know that many of you stand ready to help once we know the scope of what’s needed, requested and enabled. One thing I can say for sure: Our VA colleagues—and the patients they serve-- need our support in this time of need. Let’s thank them for their service and stand by to respond if called to serve in partnership with them.


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