Welcome to Standing Ready episode 4, the battlefields of bureaucracy. This podcast is an insightful discussion with Acting Undersecretary of Health Dr. Richard Stone on the 75th Anniversary of the Veterans Health Administration.

In 1946, when VHA was founded, the organization was facing serious challenges with providing health care for 16 million new Veterans. Today, VA faces an entirely different health care challenge associated with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stone reflects how has history inspired and challenged him. He recalls VA’s first medical director Dr. Paul R. Hawley and the challenges he faced in dealing with bureaucracy to ensure the best possible health care for Veterans.

We also dig into what the future holds for VHA and Stone shares some of the exciting initiatives and innovations VHA is working toward.

Join us

Join VHA historian Katie Delacenserie and producer Shawn Spitler for this episode and past episodes of the Standing Ready podcast. The podcast elevates and highlights the significant contributions (past, present and future) of the nation’s largest health care system through a historical lens by conducting interviews with VHA innovators and pioneers.

To listen to previous Standing Ready podcasts, click here.


Katie Delacenserie is the historian for the Veterans Health Administration.

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