VA is seeking candidates for the Veterans and Community Oversight and Engagement Board. What is this and why is it important?

In March 1888, the United States was endowed with land now comprising the Greater Los Angeles (GLA) campus from John P. Jones, Arcadia B. DeBaker and John Wolfskills, with the understanding and intent for the site to be used to create a Pacific Branch of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

After the Korean War, approximately 5,000 Veterans called this campus home. The Federal government preserved this purpose for the property with fidelity until the 1970’s, but over years it emerged into a condensed health care and research campus, leaving the land, housing and amenities unused and in disrepair.

The Draft Master Plan paved the way for VA to increase its engagement and strengthen strategic partnerships with Veterans Service Organizations, Veterans, the local community, charitable and philanthropic entities, the former Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, legislators, Federal, State and local authorities, and many other stakeholders. The Plan obligates VA to create and operate the campus as a safe, welcoming and sustainable community where Veterans, including women, disabled, homeless and elderly in particular, will feel comfortable and proud accessing the resources they have already earned.

In addition to their health care responsibilities, the GLA VAMC Leadership is responsible for the implementation of the Master Plan which will provide housing and supportive services on their 388-acre campus for Veterans in Los Angeles County. Independent of the GLA Campus, the VCOEB leverages the expertise of its Members as well as other subject matter experts to provide advice and recommendation to the Secretary of the VA regarding the goals and best practices to ensure the Master Plan meets the needs of local Veterans.

Growth and development

VA remains fervent about the growth and development made to date at the GLA campus and is also devoted to creating a 21st Century campus by renovating and protecting the property’s historic features and functions as a home, expanding its resource offerings to meet current demands, enhancing its open spaces and natural features, improving its internal navigability and circulation, and optimizing its connection to the greater community – all in the interest of supporting LA’s Veteran community in the broadest sense.

Seeking candidates

VA cannot do this work alone, which is why we are seeking dedicated individuals to be a part of our Veterans and Community Oversight and Engagement Board. This Board reports directly to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, advising him of the needs of Veterans, ways to improve services and outcomes for Veterans, members of the Armed Forces, the families of such Veterans, and ways that we can better serve the need of this community.

The Board captures some of the most pressing issues affecting Veterans with recommendations focused on the delivery of services to Veterans, data collection, outreach, health care and delivery of benefits and other services.

VA is seeking nominees for the Board from diverse backgrounds and expertise who can provide unique viewpoints and state-of-the-art ideas on how to:

  1. Identify the goals of the community and Veteran partnership;
  2. Provide the community with opportunities to collaborate and communicate by conducting public forums;
  3. Provide advice and recommendations on the implementation to the Secretary to improve services and outcomes for Veterans and members of the Armed Forces;
  4. Focus on local issues regarding the Department that are identified by the community with respect to health care, implementation of the Master Plan and any subsequent plans, benefits and memorial services at the GLA campus.

At VA, we realize the needs of our nation’s Veterans are crucial, as many Veterans face challenges through every aspect of their lives. This Board continuously identifies the goals of the community and Veteran partnerships to improve services and outcomes for Veterans, members of the Armed Forces and families of such Veterans and members. Nonetheless most importantly, the work this Board does will have a direct impact on the lives and well-being of more than 500,000 Veterans and their families, caregivers and survivors.

Nominations for membership on the Board must be received no later than Friday, July 22, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

For more details, please visit the Notice of Solicitation or www.va.gov/advisory. Any further questions, please contact the VA Advisory Committee Management Office at vaadvisorycmte@va.gov. In the subject line of the email, please add “Solicitation for VCOEB.”

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One Comment

  1. Chris Macklin June 23, 2022 at 8:13 am - Reply

    How do I become more involved in this mission?

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