Montana stands to gain from VA's nationwide effort to recruit medical professionals

Billings Gazette

by Cindy Uken

Newly named Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald has wasted no time outlining a national recruitment effort to bring needed medical professionals into the VA, which could benefit the VA Montana Health Care System.

In order to provide timely access to care, the system must hire more clinicians, according to McDonald. He has vowed to recruit heavily and leverage existing relationships and affiliations that the VA has with academic institutions. And officials will talk directly to medical professionals about joining VA.

These actions will build on existing recruitment tools, including partnerships between local facilities and academic institutions, loan repayment programs and scholarship programs.

“Even more so than in other states, VA Montana has a shortage of medical professionals, which is one of the biggest reasons that veterans have to wait so long to see a doctor,” said U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the state’s only member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “The VA’s new recruiting initiative will help incentivize more medical professionals to come work for VA Montana.”

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