Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12), along with Reps. Rodney Davis (IL-13) John Shimkus (IL-15) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) sent a letter to Secretary Robert McDonald of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) concerning the high turnover rate in the position of Acting Director.
“I am very concerned about the lack of stability in leadership at the St. Louis VA and its impact on Veterans’ services,” said Rep. Mike Bost. “Many Veterans in my district access health care services through the St. Louis VA system, which provides care to over 45,000 Veterans annually. I think it is critical that Secretary McDonald do all he can to install a qualified, permanent director for the St. Louis VA as soon as possible. This revolving door makes it harder to achieve the long-term improvements in care our Veterans deserve.”
"We have a responsibility to provide our veterans with the best care possible and good leaders within our VA facilities are key to this success," said Rep. Rodney Davis. "We're urging Secretary McDonald to find a qualified, permanent director to lead the St. Louis VA system as soon as possible so they can continue to plan for the future and improve care for our veterans."
“Replacing one interim director with another interim director every four months is no way to run any large organization,” said Rep. John Shimkus. “I urge Secretary McDonald to make finding a permanent director for the VA St. Louis Health Care System a priority before the instability created by this lack of leadership takes a toll on patient care.”
“After a recent report from the VA that discussed several issues in the St. Louis facility, it is even more important to appoint a permanent director so our nation’s veterans receive the quality care they deserve and the issues are rectified,” said Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer. I’m pleased to join my Illinois colleagues in sending this letter and we will continue to urge for a stable Acting Director so there aren’t any unnecessary disturbances in caring for veterans.”
Over the past two years, the St. Louis VA has been managed by seven different acting directors. The short-term uncertainty has impacted the ability of the system management to engage in long-term planning and other functions necessary to improve service delivery to Veterans.