Monday, January 13, 2020 12:00 AM

Message From The Executive In Charge

VHA Central Office Redesign and Town Hall Invite

I am excited to share that Secretary Wilkie has approved plans to redesign VHA Central Office (VHACO). Our goal is to more efficiently support facilities across VHA to improve care to Veterans. It has taken more than a year to develop a design that best uses your talents, reduces redundant work and improves communications and transparency, allowing VHACO to work as a partner with VISNs and facilities.  VHA senior leadership has addressed recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Commission on Care, and the Independent Assessment to redesign VHACO to better support Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) and facility operations. Our new structure addresses many of the concerns that put VHA on the GAO high risk list.

I am confident we have the right employees with the right talent to lead us through this process. Rest assured we will not have a reduction in force (RIF) as a result of this redesign. There is plenty of work for all of us to do. These changes will better align the workforce so that we can more effectively support operations throughout VHA. Every single one of us is critical to making sure VHA can deliver exceptional care to Veterans every day.  I am counting on your talent, your knowledge of VHA and your commitment to Veterans to help us make this transition as smooth as possible. 

What Does this Mean to VHACO Employees?
While many of our VHACO employees will be affected, some employees will only experience minor changes, while others will see more substantial ones.  Depending on the program office, the change may involve a realignment in the organization or a simple administrative change, such as a different station number. If you will be directly impacted by the reorganization, your supervisor will hold a meeting to give you more details. 

What are the Benefits of this Change?
This redesign will benefit all of us at VHACO and VHA-wide and will ultimately improve care to the Veterans we serve. It will make us a more agile organization, able to respond to changes more efficiently. Clearer lines of ownership and accountability in program and project areas will lead to quicker decision-making. VHACO will be able to better support VISNs and facilities who directly serve our Veterans. Realigning offices that are working on similar issues will reduce duplication of effort, use resources more effectively and enable us to be more efficient, individually, and as an organization; it will help eliminate confusion about where to go for answers.  The redesigned structure will also help facilitate communications across the organization so that everyone has the information needed to do their jobs effectively.

How Can You Learn More? Our leadership team understands that organizational change can bring anxiety and that you may have questions. I look forward to sharing more about the path forward and the benefits of the redesign at the VHACO Town Hall on February 3, 2020, at 2:30-3:30 pm (EST). There are three ways that you can join the Town Hall:

In-person: Room 230, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420. Please come early. Doors close promptly at 2:30PM ET due to this being a live and recorded event.

Webcast: Please test your connection by visiting this link:

Listen Only: 1-800-767-1750 X60879. You may dial in up to 10 minutes early.

Where Can You Ask Questions?

You may submit questions about the VHACO redesign to: [email protected]  by Noon on January 30. Our VHA leadership team and I will be answering as many of your questions as possible during the Town Hall.

You can find the latest information about the VHACO redesign on the VHA Organizational Improvement SharePoint site and information on all the VHA Lanes of Effort on the  VHA Modernization SharePoint site.

Thank you for your support and for all that you do to provide the highest level of service to Veterans.

Richard A. Stone, MD
Executive in Charge, VHA