VA’s 2018-2024 Strategic Plan

Published: March 01, 2018

Health CareHealth ITInformation TechnologyVA

In February, VA released a new four year strategic plan to guide its future progress in fulfilling its mission to care for veterans.

VA’s FY 2018-2024 Strategic Plan describes the department’s priorities, goals and objectives for the next four years.  The plan recognizes VA successes, but Secretary Shulkin’s introduction letter is quick to point out that “VA faces many challenges that require a fundamental change to the way we think and operate to competitively serve our veterans.” Shulkin goes on to state, “To ensure our success, VA will focus resources on foundational services that veterans need most, and leverage federal partners, community providers, and private partners to offer care and services where needed.”

VA’s strategic plan highlights major changes the department will implement over the next five to seven years to deliver better choices for veterans, open up options for veterans to receive benefits and care, and fix areas where VA is “not measuring up.”

VA’s path forward will be shaped by Secretary Shulkin’s five priorities for VA:

  1. Greater Choice: VA is committed to ensure veterans can make decisions that work best for them and their families.
  2. Improve Timeliness: Veterans must receive the benefits, care and services they need in a timely manner, no matter where they are.
  3. Suicide Prevention: Suicide prevention is VA’s highest clinical priority. Suicide is a national health crisis; it requires all of government, along with public-private partnerships to address.
  4. Focus Resources: Veterans and taxpayers deserve to know VA resources are spent on the care and services veterans need most.
  5. Modernize Systems: Veterans and VA employees need systems and technology that enable them to deliver the high-quality care and services veterans deserve.

The plan goes on to iterate the core values that will shape the department’s future and how it goes about achieving its goals and objectives: Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence (I-CARE)

Most of the plan document is focused on explaining VA’s four strategic goals, and their underlying objectives and performance goals. Each goal has strategic objectives with supporting strategies for achieving the objective.  Below is the list of VA’s four FY 2024 strategic goals along with the supporting strategic objectives: 

  • GOAL 1: Veterans Choose for Easy Access, Greater Choices, and Clear Information to Make Informed Decisions
    • Strategic Objective 1.1: VA anticipates veterans’ changing needs throughout their lives to enhance their choices.
    • Strategic Objective 1.2: Veterans are informed of, understand, and can avail themselves of the benefits, care and services they choose.
  • GOAL 2: Veterans Receive Timely and Integrated Care and Support that Emphasizes Their Well-Being and Independence Throughout Their Life Journey
    • Strategic Objective 2.1: VA has collaborative, high-performing and integrated delivery networks that enhance veteran well-being and independence.  
    • Strategic Objective 2.2:  VA ensures at-risk and underserved veterans receive what they need to eliminate veteran suicide, homelessness and poverty.
  • GOAL 3: Veterans Trust VA to be Consistently Accountable and Transparent
    • Strategic Objective 3.1: VA is always transparent to enhance veterans’ choices, to maintain trust, and to be openly accountable for its actions.
    • Strategic Objective 3.2:  VA holds its personnel and external service providers accountable for delivering excellent customer service and experiences while eliminating fraud, waste and abuse.
  • GOAL 4: VA Will Modernize Systems and Focus Resources More Efficiently to be Competitive and to Provide World Class Capabilities to Veterans and Employees
    • Management Objective 4.1: VA’s infrastructure improvements, improved decision-making protocols and streamlined services enable VA to agilely adapt to changing business environments and veteran needs.
    • Management Objective 4.2:  VA will modernize its human capital management capabilities to empower and enable a diverse, fully staffed, and highly skilled workforce that consistently delivers world class services to veterans and their families.
    • Management Objective 4.3: VA IT modernization will quickly deliver effective solutions that will enable VA to provide improved customer service and provide a secure and seamless experience while decreasing its rate of spend.
    • Management Objective 4.4: VA will institutionalize data-supported and performance-focused decision making that will improve the quality of outcomes.