VA staffing new White House VA Hotline Principally with VeteransHe said what? What about the Veterans Choice Act sending them to private doctors instead of fixing the VA?
08/11/2017 05:59 PM EDT
Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that the two-month pilot phase of the new White House VA Hotline that began in June has demonstrated that Veterans calling the hotline respond best when their calls are answered by fellow Veterans and others with first-hand experience on their issues.
As a result, VA announced that it will target highly qualified Veterans to staff the hotline going forward, instead of contracting the service to a third-party vendor, and is hiring additional VA personnel to complete the planned move to a 24-hour operation.
“The message we’ve heard loud and clear is Veterans want to talk to other Veterans to help them solve problems and get VA services,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. “We’re taking steps to answer that call.”
This decision will delay the full-time stand-up of the 24-hour service by two months, to no later than October 15, in order to ensure the hiring and training processes are complete.
Until that time, the hotline’s current pilot program service is available to receive calls from Veterans from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.