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" The first responsibility that we have to our veterans is to make sure those that need urgent care are getting care on time. "
" I've always approached my job first as a physician. I'm here to help and take care of patients. I'm an administrator second. "
" If there is evidence that an employee has broken the law, caused harm to veterans, or have violated the public trust, they should be terminated immediately. Instead, due to overly cumbersome and lengthy arbitrations as well as extensive bureaucratic red tape, VA has not been able to remove employees as quickly as we would have liked. "
" We have about 360,000 employees in the VA health care system. It's the largest health care system in the country. And the negative attention that's been put on VA has hurt the morale of our workforce. And so what we're trying to do is to get people to understand that we're doing great work every day. "
" I don't believe that the problems in the VA are necessarily about money. When I look back over the problems of the VA over the past decade, this is fundamentally a system that hasn't kept up with modernization in the way that the rest of health care in the private sector has. "
" It was clear that VA was in need of reform, and when the president asked for help, I could not say no. First, I felt I could help, and my private sector experience was relevant. Second, that this was my chance to give back to those that had stepped up to serve our country. "
" There will be far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness, and expanded care options, but the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch. "
" A veteran deserves the very best health care anywhere. That means sometimes, they should go out into the private sector if something's being done better than the VA. "
" VA is a unique national resource that is worth saving, and I am committed to doing just that. "
" What we know about American medicine is that our supply of health-care professionals is not equally distributed. In rural areas, we have severe shortages. "
" I do think that VA, as the largest employer of nurses and the largest health system in the country, often does become a place where we can demonstrate advances in medical practice. "
" We are a system where I can tell you that nobody is doing more for behavioral health care in this country than the VA. "
" My career goal is to work as a liaison between organized medicine, government, and third-party payers. "
" Accountability is a two way street. We can't just make it easier for us to fire people; we must make it easier for us to hire people. It takes VA an average of 240 days to complete the hiring process for executives joining VA from outside government. We are losing talented people because it simply takes too long. "