Tester, Walz Call On Administration To Release Details On Newly Established Partnership With Cohen Veterans Network

In a letter, the Ranking Members ask VA to answer specific questions and provide any documents relating to the establishment of the partnership

WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Members of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and  Representative Tim Walz (D-Minn.) issued the following statement after they sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) requesting that the Administration provide any documents relating to the establishment of the partnership between VA and Cohen Veterans Network (CVN) as well as answers to eleven specific questions in the letter. 

“The VA must work with the most qualified partners to expand access to mental health care to veterans, not the company that donated the most money,” said Senator Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “Veterans deserve the best possible mental health care, and the Cohen Veterans Network may very well be up to the task of delivering top-notch care for our veterans. But we need to ensure that this contract is the result of the quality of care provided through the Cohen Veterans Network and is not another inside buddy deal.”

“The nature of the partnership between VA and CVN has raised many questions and concerns in Congress and in the veterans community and it is the duty of the VA Secretary to address them,” said Rep. Walz, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “In addition to questions of funding, nature, and extent of the partnership, what concerns me most, as a veteran and as a father to a young daughter, is the presence of two members of CVN’s Board of Directors, Steven Cohen and Douglas Haynes, who are defendants in a gender discrimination lawsuit at Point72 Asset Management, a firm where Steven Cohen is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The complaint alleges offensive behavior toward women was encouraged and perpetuated by senior leadership at the firm, including Mr. Cohen and Mr. Haynes. Their presence on the CVN Board could lead to the conclusion that discrimination in CVN’s organization and against veterans seeking mental healthcare may also be tolerated. As the fastest growing subset of veterans, women veterans need mental healthcare providers they can trust, and I am skeptical that CVN is up to that task.”

You can read their full letter HERE