Dublin VA Held Clinical Leadership Retreat to Implement New VA Priorities
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
The Patient Care Services Division of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center hosted a Clinical Leadership Retreat on February 22 to discuss strategic direction for Nursing and its related services and to ensure consistency with the VA Secretary’s priorities in providing high-quality health care to military veterans.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, who assumed his role in July 2018, testified before Congress in September 2018 to brief lawmakers of the state of the VA and to inform them of his priorities for the Department, which he listed as customer service, implementing the MISSION Act, updating the VA’s electronic health records system, and transforming business systems for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. The MISSION Act consolidates community care into a single program that is easier for veterans, families, community providers, and all VA stakeholders to navigate. The VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act of 2018 was signed into law by President Donald Trump in June 2018 and will allow VA to coordinate veterans’ care more effectively. It also expands the VA’s family caregivers program to provide much-needed assistance to people caring for some of the most needy veterans.
The Dublin VA’s Clinical Leadership Retreat allows managers in direct patient care areas to set clinical goals and establish practices consistent with VA’s new mission by educating managers in nursing, recreation, chaplains, and other service areas about Wilkies’ and the Dublin VA director’s priorities. Themed “Executing the Strategic Priorities: Reconnect, Recharge, and Re-focus” managers from all areas of Patient Care Services, including from its six community-based outreach clinics, covering 49 counties in in central and south Georgia, gathered in the Dublin VA’s auditorium to listen to presenters and brainstorm ideas for executing VA’s new plan.
Event coordinator and VA Education Chief Dr. Pamela Jackson emphasized the value of having key leaders to strategize together for getting the best results.
“The strategic direction that we establish early on largely determines our results. Getting the people with the necessary knowledge in one room ensures that we tailor specifics at our level to realize the Secretary’s vision. Having everyone together allows us to give our leaders expert knowledge that they need and gives them a chance to plan in a collegial environment,” Jackson said.
Jackson said that 2019 was the third year for the event, and in 2020 it would be expanded to VA medical centers in the entire southeast region.
Associate Director for Patient Care Services Dr. Connie Hampton, who oversees direct patient care and has worked in VA healthcare for 25 years, agreed, adding that continuity and a solid appreciation for the importance of the VA mission is critical for success.
“With over 700 staff, we have to be sure that our patient care efforts are coordinated and systematic while always remembering our purpose which is giving our veterans the best health care possible. We have a wonderful team of compassionate professionals and we want to operationalize that compassion and make it central to what we are doing. The technical aspects of what we do are absolutely necessary and have to be at the highest quality, but ultimately, our veterans have to know we care about them. That’s where our success lies,” Hampton said.