Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s (D-Westlake Village) amendment to H.R. 1367, a bill to improve the hiring and retention of VA employees.
The Brownley amendment requires an analysis of succession planning at all VA medical facilities, in order to identify mission-critical positions, future needs, and strategies to close skill gaps. The Brownley amendment clarifies that the review must include all medical centers, outpatient clinics, domiciliary facilities, vet centers, and community-based outpatient clinics, like the Oxnard clinic.
“In recent years, VA facilities in the Greater Los Angeles region, including the Oxnard CBOC, have experienced significant turnover of senior leadership. There is no doubt in my mind that this turnover has negatively impacted care. High-quality and consistent leadership at every VA facility is vital to ensure that our veterans get the best care possible. My amendment ensures that VA succession planning doesn’t overlook our local facilities,” said Brownley.
Local community clinics are often the first point of access for veterans in the VA healthcare system. Brownley has long fought for adequate resources for these local clinics. Her amendment will ensure the VA has plans in place for future leadership changes, so that the VA continuously provides high-quality and consistent care to veterans.
H.R. 1367 aims to improve the hiring and retention of VA employees. It would establish an executive management fellowship program and other career advancement and training programs. The bill also would establish a single recruiting database for potential employees to review open positions at the VA. Finally, the bill would direct the VA to collect important information on its ability to recruit, hire, and retain well-qualified employees.