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.
The LGBTQ fight for equal rights became organized in 1969, after the riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn. LGBTQ civil rights activist and author Mark Segal has been involved in the movement from its beginning. Mark joins Robert Traynham for a candid and intimate discussion about his life, his role in the fight for equality, and the state of LGBTQ rights across America and around the globe. Mark is the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population increased 72 percent between 2000 and 2015, resulting in the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. And as this population continues to grow, there remains a lack of involvement in politics and corporate leadership positions. Kendall Kosai, Deputy Director at OCA National discussed programs designed to help high school students explore their identity, and encourage them to become future community leaders.
Elena Russo speaks with Mark Frazer, Mayor of the Town of North Beach. He discusses some of the recently recognized awards that were just bestowed to the town. Also covered is the upcoming holiday market, parade and other events.
For more videos and information about your community, go to ComcastNewsmakers.com.
Recorded on 11/13/17.