Washington - U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-IL), a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today unveiled bipartisan legislation, the VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act, to address the growing problem of VA medical centers operating without permanent directors. Bost introduced the bill along with U.S. Representative Jim Costa (D-CA).
“No business or organization can successfully operate under a revolving door of short-term leaders – especially not one tasked with caring for America’s heroes,” said Rep. Bost. “Restoring accountability and leadership at the VA should be a primary focus in Congress. That’s why we can’t afford to continue operating in this haphazard way. As a veteran myself, it’s my duty to do my part in providing the stability necessary to ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve. Our bipartisan legislation is a strong step in that direction.”
Almost 20 VA medical centers nationwide currently lack a permanent director. Some of these facilities have not been staffed by a permanent director in almost two years. In lieu of a permanent director, these facilities have been managed by interim directors who may only serve in that capacity for an average tenure of 120 days. Bost’s legislation would require the Secretary of the VA to report to Congress with a plan for addressing the shortage of permanent directors, a shortage that could hinder the ability to engage in long-term planning and other functions necessary to improve service delivery to our veterans.
The VA Health Center Management Stability and Improvement Act:
- Requires the Secretary of the VA to develop and submit to Congress a plan to hire highly-qualified medical directors for each medical center that lacks a permanent director within 120 days of enactment;
- Identifies possible impediments to staffing facilities with permanent directors; and
- Assesses the possibility of promoting and training qualified candidates from within the VA for promotion to Senior Executive Service positions.