U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today introduced the LEAD VA Act to improve leadership at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. The bipartisan legislation would direct the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to study the feasibility of establishing a pilot program to assign senior officers of the Armed Forces to serve as directors of VA medical centers.
“It’s no secret that the Department of Veterans Affairs has been plagued by crisis over the years, and veterans across our country have suffered because of it. It’s time to take a hard look at the way VA medical centers are being run at the highest level and find new ways to improve them,” Rep. Mast said. “At the end of the day, no one is better prepared to oversee veteran care than those who will one day be veterans themselves.”
Specifically, this legislation will require the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct a three year study to determine the feasibility of establishing a pilot program to assign officers of the Armed Forces in the grade of O–6 – a notably senior rank among the branches – to serve as directors of VA medical centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs. A report including the results and recommendations must be submitted to Congress upon completion of the study.
The legislation can be found HERE.