A VA employee working using a microscope to look at slides. Photo demonstrates how inclusion equals innovation at VA.

Inclusion Equals Innovation: How Our Diverse Workforce Delivers Better Care – VA News

At VA, we know that inclusion equals innovation. By ensuring that each Veteran receives care that matters to them and their health as a whole, VA providers and staff get to know each Veteran personally in order to better deliver care aligned with health goals and patient well-being.

All Veterans are different and we know health care is not uniform. The diversity of our workforce helps close the gap in health care disparities, an attitude that has been embraced at the top of our organization.

And the more diverse our workforce, the more success we will share.

“To ensure a welcoming environment for veterans, we must foster equitable and inclusive VA workplaces where the experiences and perspectives of our diverse employees are valued,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “The success of our mission depends on everyone’s ability to contribute their expertise, experience, talents, ideas and perspectives.”

Invest in inclusion

Our Office of Academic Affiliation (OAA) plays a major role in developing VA’s diverse workforce.

If you’re new to your career, you can take advantage of health professions training and scholarship programs designed to increase VA employment opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities, which in turn improves experiences. and health care outcomes for these groups.

OAA manages affiliations with more than 1,800 unique colleges and universities, including nearly 200 Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). Approximately 20,000 health profession interns from MSIs come to VA each year.

Additionally, the Veterans Healing Veterans Medical Access and Scholarship Program provides full scholarships to 12 veteran medical students at Teague-Cranston Act and historically black colleges and universities in exchange for an obligation to four-year service at VA.

Inclusion leads to innovation

Our university affiliations also place VA in a unique position to mentor and fund scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds who are motivated to make a difference in their communities, which expands career opportunities for those seeking to join our team.

We recognize that scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to solving complex health-related problems.

To this end, VA has developed funding opportunities in Mentored Research for junior VA scholars from underrepresented backgrounds. These research supplements pair early career researchers with established VA researchers.

The supplements, supported by the VA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), have led to research into virtual reality technology to help veterans with mild cognitive impairment and repurposing existing medications to treat brain-related disorders. substance use, among others.

The road ahead

We understand that supporting diversity, equity and inclusion within our workforce is an ongoing effort and a challenge that will continue in the years to come. As we celebrate our successes, we plan further efforts to support and recruit a diverse workforce.

We embed best practices in everything we do to expand access to our world-class healthcare services and improve policies and procedures to reflect the diversity of those we serve. We continue to strengthen our efforts towards the goal of a safe and respectful work and healthcare environment.

As we serve the most diverse group of veterans in history, we reaffirm our commitment to hiring staff who reflect that diversity, ensuring VA employees feel supported and providing equitable access to health care for all.

Work at VA

With a career at VA, you will join an organization committed to serving our diverse veteran population and supporting staff and patient inclusion.

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