Teresa Morris, Director, Advocacy & Government Relations
Greetings NOVA Members –
Wow, it was a busy February and March – the Legislative Committee finalized its 2020 Legislative Priority Goals and NOVA held its Hill Day and Roundtable events in Washington, D.C. Thanks to the over 30 Members who showed up and joined us to speak to Congress about VA healthcare and local issues critical to VA’s Mission. Stories from the day will be presented in the coming weeks. Needless to say, Congress heard loud and clear from our VA Nurses!
Our 2020 Priorities focus on ensuring an adequate budget, monitoring access and the Community Care Network and most importantly, Staffing, Recruitment and Retention, with emphasis on lowering vacancies by recruiting and retaining a highly qualified workforce. For the entire list of goals, visit the NOVA website and click on the Advocacy Tab.
We also held our Annual Legislative Roundtable at DAV Headquarters in DC. The Roundtable is a great event that brings together stakeholders from the VSO community, Professional Nursing Organizations, Hill Staff, Union Representatives, and leadership from the VA Office of Nursing Service.
Discussions centered around VA healthcare and services, staffing, modernization/reorganization within VHA, APRN status update, and the recently published report, “The Future of Nursing 2020-2030,” which can be found here: https://nam.edu/publications/the-future-of-nursing-2020-2030/
For pictures from Hill Day and the Legislative Roundtable – check out our website today!
Congress continues to hold hearings and introduce legislation designed to improve VA programs and services. NOVA makes a point of monitoring anything that affects our members and how they provide care to Veterans. The FY 2021 Budget and FY 2022 Advance Appropriations was introduced in February and is now in the hands of Appropriation Committees. NOVA supports the Independent Budget funding request for both cycles. The IB VSO’s – DAV, PVA and VFW have worked to develop and present concrete recommendations to ensure that VA remains fully-funded and capable of carrying out its mission to take care of current and future population of Veterans. I urge all of you to take a look at the information provided, Congress has for years acknowledged the importance of the VSO analytics and accuracy of its numbers.
The link to the document can be found here, http://www.independentbudget.org/116-congress/
I encourage all of you to stay current on our advocacy efforts by visiting the NOVA Website and watching our Social Media accounts – information on hearings and issues moving quickly through Congress are always provided as they happen!
As we move towards the end of the 116th Congress and the 2020 elections, I ask all of you to continue to voice your views as to how, when and where Veterans receive care as VA moves through new models of healthcare delivery. All of you remain at the forefront and can provide invaluable information on how VA continues to carry out their core mission of taking care of our Nation’s Heroes.