Tester statement on Johnny Ginnity being named permanent director at VA Montana

(U.S. Senate) – Hours after securing a commitment from VA Secretary McDonald that a permanent director at VA Montana would be announced, Senator Jon Tester released the following statement after Johnny Ginnity was named permanent director of VA Montana:

“Johnny Ginnity has served Montana veterans well over the last eight months, but he also knows that serious workforce and access issues still plague VA Montana. I look forward to continuing our work together improving the care that veterans earned, but I will also hold him accountable, because we must do right by Montana’s veterans.”

Ginnity served as acting director at VA Montana for eight months before bureaucratic restrictions forced him to step down.

During today’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing, Tester welcomed the VA’s announcement but also reminded the Secretary that serious staffing shortages are limiting Montana veterans’ access to care, particularly at Fort Harrison’s new acute behavioral health center.

“I am more concerned today than I have ever been in the past about what’s going on in Montana’s VA,” Tester said. “We’ve got to do better.”

Secretary McDonald told the Senator he looks forward to seeing these issues firsthand when he visits Montana this spring. Tester will be announcing details of the Secretary’s visit in the next few weeks.

Tester’s complete remarks at today’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing are available online HERE.