VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD joins Robert Traynham to discuss improvements underway for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Improving transparency, customer service and continuity for veterans is a top priority along with improving wait times for health care and VA employee accountability. Click here for part 1 of VA Transparency and Priorities.
Robert Traynham:Mr. Secretary, have you [00:03:00] seen any research, any data to perhaps maybe suggest that the VA is on the right track when it comes to wait times, when it comes to the good quality care, when it comes to the accountability that you just referred to David Shulkin:Interestingly, as I said, we're the only system in the entire country that I know that publishes its wait times. Just recently, there has been a report released by an independent organization that reports on wait times around the country. In those situations, [00:03:30] the VA is actually doing much better than the private sector. What many people know is, when they call around and they try to get appointments for doctors, it's not as easy as people had originally thought. While the VA has more work to do, and we're focused on improving our timeliness of services, compared to the private sector, we may actually be doing better.Robert Traynhan:In the few moments that we have left, what I think for the viewers that are watching this at home or perhaps on their smart device, they may be asking the question, Mr. Secretary, how come a veteran cannot just [00:04:00] simply go to the emergency room down the road from their house, or perhaps maybe, if in fact they choose or do not believe that they're getting good quality care from the VA, they simply cannot go to the doctor of their choice Why is it so complicated for them, or unique, rather David Shulkin:Right. First of all, we are moving to give veterans more choice. That's a commitment that the President has made, and that I share, that we want veterans to be able to be in charge of their healthcare decisions. We also [00:04:30] have to make sure that the care that's provided to veterans is coordinated, and that the VA actually is involved. We are there to help veterans, and to help them with their specific issues. What we're trying to do is build a system that integrates the very best of what the VA has to offer with the best of what the private sector has to offer. We think veterans deserve no less than that.Robert Traynham:Last question for you. As I mentioned a few moments ago, I introduced you as Secretary Shulkin, but also Dr. Shulkin. You are [00:05:00] a practicing physician. As I understand it, in the coming days, you will be treating, or at least visiting with some veterans. Explain what you'll be doing.David Shulkin:I'm an internist, and I practice at the VA. I see patients as often as I can. I will be practicing in a few days, taking care of patients. It helps me in understanding the types of services that we deliver. I always learn a great deal from my patients, and hopefully I am part of helping them in dealing with their issues as well. [00:05:30] It's the way I think I can most effectively do my job by actually practicing.Robert Traynham:I'm curious, are you the first Veteran's Secretary to be able to actually treat patients David Shulkin:I believe that's the case, yes.Robert Traynham:Are veteran's kind of freaked out that the Secretary's actually treating them, or are they relieved, or a combination of both David Shulkin:I don't introduce myself as the Secretary. I'm their doctor, and I take care of them just like any other doctor in the VA would.Robert Traynham:Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for joining us, and keep up the great work.David Shulkin:Thank you.Robert Traynham:Look forward to having you back on to hear more about your progress.David Shulkin:Thank you so much.Robert Traynham:Of course, thank you for joining us as well. [00:06:00] For more great conversations with leaders in your community and across the nation, visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I'm Robert Traynham.
As part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the Small Business Administration is studying how the practice of Multiple Award Contracts impacts the ability of women-owned and other socio-economic categories of small businesses to compete for government work. Jane Campbell, President of Women Impacting Public Policy discusses the SBA study, which is in response to a WIPP report regarding women owned businesses and government contracts.
The United States Census Bureau provides data about the nation’s people and economy. While that data is used by our government for planning and redistricting purposes, there are private sector applications as well – especially for businesses. DeVere Kutscher, Principal with Public Private Strategies discusses the importance of census accuracy and its effect on businesses making informed decisions.
In September 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rolled back guidance under Title IX regarding standards for colleges to prevent, respond to and investigate incidents of sexual assault on campus. The Department of Education has issued interim guidance, pending a public notice and comment period. Jenn Brown, of The United State of Women, discusses the roll back and encourages public awareness of the upcoming notice and comment period to assure that all voices are heard.
Latino youth lag behind in STEM education, while Hispanics are at the fastest rate growing mobile technology users. A discussion with Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO of MANA, a national Latino Organization on efforts to bridge the STEM gap with young Latinas through programs that teach web design and coding using the tools that students are familiar with - mobile phones.
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the first comprehensive tax reform passed since 1986, under President Reagan. While charitable deductions have been preserved, some non-profit organizations are concerned about a potential drop-off in donations next year. An interview with Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President for Policy at United Way Worldwide.
There is a current trend toward incivility dominating public discourse in the United States. A grassroots campaign is working to reverse that trend, encouraging civility to improve collaboration, compromise and productivity in legislative bodies. Jody Thomas, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Women Legislators discusses efforts by NFWL and partnering organizations to encourage civil discourse for elected officials.
And the Winner is.... Tracy's Kids! Comcast Newsmakers highlights this 10th annual event for Tracy's Kids, an organization devoted to helping young cancer patients and their families to cope with illness through art therapy. For more information, visit Tracy's Kids at www.TracysKids.org.
With commentary from: David Cohen, Jeff Miller, Matt Gerson, Dr. Aziza Shad, Tracy Councill, Ryan Tomoff, Rebecca Wilson, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Lisa Wilson, Devon Still, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Tom Marino, Sen. Rob Portman.
Elena Russo speaks with Brandon Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Hospice of Charles County, about the care they provide and the options that are available for seniors and their families. Follow on Facebook and Twitter.
For more videos and information about your community, go to ComcastNewsmakers.com.
Recorded on: 11/17/2016.
The institutionalization of children with disabilities is a worldwide problem augmented by reported abuse of children in over 25 countries. Eric Rosenthal of Disability Rights International discusses the issues and efforts toward improvement. Visit Disability Rights International on the web at www.DisabilityRightsIntl.org
According to an internal audit, more than 57,000 veterans have not been scheduled for an initial appointment with the US Department of Veteran Affairs. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ) discusses this delay in healthcare access for our returning servicemen and women. Visit Rep. Runyan on the web at www.Runyan.house.gov