VA Secretary Shulkin made a big announcement on June 5th, 2017 about a historic modernization of the VA’s medical records system. At the White House Press Briefing, VA Secretary Shulkin tells The Pavlovic Today that suicide prevention in the military is one of his top priorities.
PT: You mentioned how suicide prevention is one of your top priorities.
VA SECRETARY SHULKIN: Suicide prevention, yes.
PT: In that context, are you willing maybe to sit down with DOD and encourage the active duty officers to go on record about their mental problems and issues, while they are still on active duty, so you avoid, in a way, for it to show up only after they leave the service?
VA SECRETARY SHULKIN: We are doing exactly that. We are in discussions with the Department of Defense. Secretary Mattis and I have talked about this.
We know that what we’re doing is not enough, and we have to look at exactly the issues that start in the Department of Defense and make sure that we’re addressing them.
The transition time and that gap between when you leave active service to when you enter as a civilian and you get healthcare, that’s an area that we have to pay particular concern about. And that’s why this EHR is going to be helpful. But we have to look all the way back into the process, just as you’re suggesting. So we are doing that.