As we close the books on 2013 and look ahead to 2014, I want to take a moment to thank you for being a member of NAVAPD. As the calendar page turns, we will enter our 39th year of being the professional organization of record representing the interests of the Veterans Administration’s 20,000 physicians and dentists with VA’s leadership and before the Congress on major health policy and program issues.
Your support of our organization makes us stronger as we continue with our mission of improving the quality of patient care in the VA healthcare system and strengthening doctor-patient relationships.
In 2013, we continued to work on a variety of issues to administratively support the VA’s doctors and dentists. This includes working on performance pay issues, continuing medical education, monitoring the Affordable Care Act roll-out, strengthening our relationships with key veterans service organizations, surveying the dental community on their specific needs, as well as improving our website – we’re hoping to launch a redesigned site before the year is out! We worked on other internal administrative, financial, and legal issues so we can continue to build on our strong foundation in the coming years.
Looking ahead to 2014, we know there will be pay issues we need to continue to work closely on. We are also looking into the logistics and content around planning a conference or summit where we can bring together key Members of Congress and policy makers across the administration to talk to NAVAPD members and other important audiences about issues that matter to our constituents, and how we serve our nation’s veterans.
In the coming year, we look forward to working more in collaboration with other organizations interested in veteran issues and VA health care to develop a policy and research agenda so that we can have a greater impact and propose real, workable solutions to policy and process issues impacting the delivery of care to veterans.
Next year brings midterm elections, and we will most certainly be keeping an eye on some important races. We’ll also keep track of where all candidates stand on issues related to our nation’s armed forces, veterans, healthcare, and scientific research. As always, we’re sure the political chatter will get lively … we plan to stay above the fray and fight for our members’ needs and, ultimately, the care of our nation’s veterans and their families.
On behalf of all of us in the NAVAPD leadership, I offer my warmest wishes for a happy holiday season to you all, and a wonderful transition into the New Year – a year that I hope brings promise, good health, and happiness to us all.