Secretary Wilkie delivers State of VA to House Committee on Appropriations

Discusses customer service, benefits, MISSION Act, suicide prevention


Secretary Wilkie began his testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Military Constructions, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, on Tuesday by highlighting reports and studies that showed it is no longer “business as usual” for VA.

The Partnership for Public Service’s reported VA is one of the best places to work in federal government. Dartmouth’s Annals of Internal Medicine reported that VA health care is as good, or better, than the care Americans receive in any part of the country. Also, a new Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study found Veterans’ access to VA care “appears to have improved between 2014 and 2017, and appears to have surpassed access in the private sector for 3 of the 4 specialties evaluated.”

The hearing can be watched in its entirety on the House Appropriation Committee’s YouTube channel.

The Secretary’s written testimony outlined VA’s priorities, including his prime directive of customer service.

Customer Experience (CX) is now incorporated in the FY 2018-2024 VA Strategic Plan, and VA has a customer service policy for the first time in its history. This policy focuses on capabilities, governance, and accountability. Furthermore, Secretary Wilkie said he would hold “all VA executives, managers, supervisors, and employees accountable to foster a climate of customer service excellence.”

So how is VA fostering a climate of customer service excellence?

“The Veterans Experience Office (VEO) is my lead organization for achieving our customer service priority and provides the department a core customer experience capability,” Wilkie said. “VEO offers four core customer experience capabilities, including real-time customer experience data, tangible customer experience tools, modern technology, and targeted engagement.”

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Tim Hudak

  joined the VA in December 2013 and is on the Veterans Experience Office team. Tim, a Chicago-land native enlisted in the Marine Corps straight out of high school. As an intelligence analyst he deployed to Al Anbar province, Iraq with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 in 2006 and 2008. After the Marine Corps, Tim used the GI Bill to earn a degree in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., and co-founded the university’s first student Veteran organization. Tim is active in many Veteran organizations.


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