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.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. residents experienced an average of 250,000 hate crimes each year from 2004 to 2015. Becky Monroe, Director of the Stop Hate Project with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights shares a conversation on combating hate by connecting community organizations with established legal and social services resources. Demonstrating community values of strength, unity, and inclusion can be an effective response to hate.
A recent study, funded in part by the Environmental Protection Agency, discovered that exposure to air pollutants is notably influenced by race. Jacqui Patterson, Senior Director of the Environmental and Climate Justice Program for the NAACP discusses the organization’s efforts in providing resources and supporting community leadership by addressing this human and civil rights issue.
According to a 2017 McKinsey & Company report, 50% of current work activities are technically automatable by adapting currently demonstrated technologies. Spencer Overton, President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies discusses how automation strongly impacts the global workforce for African Americans. A life-learning approach is one way to adapt to the advancement of technology.
A cancer diagnosis can leave patients and caregivers feeling emotionally, physically and economically drained. Marci Schankweiler, Founder of For Pete’s Sake Cancer Respite Foundation discusses the benefits of a holistic approach to improving the quality of life on both sides, while getting a break from cancer.
93% of Littles in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program believe having a mentor is important to helping them achieve their goals. John Sanchez, Director of Programs for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area shares a discussion on a program geared towards preparing children for the corporate world through mentorship. Beyond School Walls brings children to mentors in the corporate world, introducing them to jobs at an early age, exposing them to new career paths and options for their future. The program offers convenience to mentors by coming to the workplace.
According to a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies, by 2043, the wealth divide between White families and Latino and Black families will double from about $500,000 in 2013 to over $1 million. Dedrick Asante-Muhammed, Senior Fellow, Racial Wealth Divide at Prosperity Now shares how his organization is addressing this racial economic inequality.
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