Craig The Craig Veterans Affairs Telehealth Clinic was selected as a "Site of Excellence" facility in the VA health care system.
Therefore, a VA video team was sent to the Grand Junction VA hospital and Craig this week to video the clinic to promote its operations and capabilities to other VA rural health care providers. This is quite an honor for this community and the support from local veterans who lobbied to get this prototype for rural VA health care brought to this area.
Open letter to veterans
"My name is Ric Shinseki, and I am a veteran. For me, serving as Secretary of Veterans Affairs is a noble calling. It provides me the opportunity to give back to those who served with and for me during my 38 years in uniform and those on whose shoulders we all stood as we grew up in the profession of arms.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a solemn responsibility to all of you, today and in the future, as more veterans join our ranks and enroll to secure the benefits and services they have earned. I am fully committed to fulfilling President Barack Obama's vision for transforming our department so that it will be well-positioned to perform this duty even better during the 21st Century. We welcome the assistance and advice of our Veterans Service Organizations, other government departments and agencies, Congress and all VA stakeholders as we move forward, ethically and transparently, so that veterans and citizens can understand our efforts.
Creating that vision for transforming the VA into a 21st Century organization requires a comprehensive review of our department. We approach that review understanding that veterans are central to everything VA does. We know that results count, that the department will be measured by what we do, not what we promise, and that our best days as an organization supporting veterans are ahead of us. We will fulfill President Abraham Lincoln's charge to care for '... him, who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan ...' by redesigning and re-engineering ourselves for the future.
Transforming any institution is supremely challenging; I know this from my own experience in leading large, proud, complex and high-performing organizations through change. But, the best organizations must be prepared to meet the challenging times, evolving technology and, most importantly, evolving needs of clients. Historically, organizations that are unwilling or unable to change soon find themselves irrelevant. You and your needs are not irrelevant.
Veterans are our clients and delivering the highest quality care and services in a timely, consistent and fair manner is a VA responsibility. I take that responsibility seriously and have charged all of the department's employees for their best efforts and support every day to meet our obligations to you. Our path forward is challenging, but the president and Congress support us. They have asked us to do this well - for you. Veterans are our sole reason for existence and our No. 1 priority - bar none. I look forward to working together with all VA employees to transform our department into an organization that reflects the change and commitment our country expects and our Veterans deserve.
Thank you, and God bless our military, our veterans and our nation."
VA claims processing
The Department of Veterans Affairs is piloting two new programs for claims processing.
The first involves a comprehensive checklist that lays out information and evidence veterans and families need to support their disability compensation and pension benefits claims.
Four regional offices were selected for the pilot.
They are: Cleveland, Ohio; Boise, Idaho; Waco, Texas; and Louisville, Ky. The second pilot is designed to help reduce the claims processing time.
The VA will accept certified, fully developed claims and place them into a separate process. This alternative process is expected to provide results within 90 days after the claim was submitted. According to the VA, the definition of "fully developed" is when the veteran submits a certified statement that he or she does not intend to submit any additional information or evidence in support of their claim, and it will not require any assistance.
The 10 regional offices selected for the one-year pilot are: Montgomery, Ala.; Columbia, S.C.; Boston; Manchester, N.H.; Providence, R.I.; Chicago; Milwaukee; Boise, Idaho; Denver; and Portland.
For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only.
Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.