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I CARE Core Values

 

VA’s Mission

To fulfill President Lincoln's promise: "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.

A Message From Secretary Robert A. McDonald

Reaffirmation of Our VA Mission and Values

No organization can succeed without values to match its mission. Our mission, as the Department of Veterans Affairs, is to care for those “who shall have borne the battle” and for their families and survivors. Our core values focus our minds on our mission of caring and thereby guide our actions toward service to others.

These values — Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence — define our culture and strengthen our dedication to those we serve. They provide a baseline for the standards of behavior expected of all VA employees. They remind us and others that “I CARE”:

    I care about those who have served.
    I care about my fellow VA employees.
    I care about choosing “the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”
    I care about performing my duties to the very best of my abilities

As I said in my confirmation testimony and in my all-hands video message on my first full day with you, I am convinced that it is critical that all of us at VA reaffirm our commitment to our mission and our values. Our commitment to serving Veterans must be unquestioned. Veterans must know that we are “all in” when it comes to accomplishing our mission and living by our values.

I am proud to be part of this VA team; I look forward to getting to know you and setting about the hard work ahead. Thank you for your service to Veterans.

Robert A. McDonald

I CARE Overview

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Core Values and Characteristics apply across the entire VA organization. These core organizational values are the foundation of VA culture and support VA’s mission to provide the best care and services to Veterans, their families, and beneficiaries.



I CARE Overview Presentation




Established Ethics Directive

I CARE, an established Ethics directive, in the Code of Federal Register. (August 2013) Access Site » / Download »

Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence (I CARE) define "who the VA is," VA's culture, and help guide the actions of staff across VA. Staff - at every level within VA - play a critical role to support VA's commitment to care and serve our Veterans, their families, and beneficiaries.

Integrity: Act with high moral principle. Adhere to the highest professional standards. Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I engage.

Commitment: Work diligently to serve Veterans and other beneficiaries. Be driven by an earnest belief in VA's mission. Fulfill my individual responsibilities and organizational responsibilities.

Advocacy: Be truly Veteran-centric by identifying, fully considering, and appropriately advancing the interests of Veterans and other beneficiaries.

Respect: Treat all those I serve and with whom I work with dignity and respect. Show respect to earn it.

Excellence: Strive for the highest quality and continuous improvement. Be thoughtful and decisive in leadership, accountable for my actions, willing to admit mistakes, and rigorous in correcting them.

The Core Characteristics define "what we stand for," and what VA strives to be as an organization. They embody the qualities of VA employees to support VA’s mission and commitment to Veterans, their families, and beneficiaries. The Characteristics are Trustworthy, Accessible, Quality, Agile, Innovative, and Integrated.

Trustworthy: VA earns the trust of those it serves – every day – through the actions of all employees.

Accessible: VA engages and welcomes Veterans and other beneficiaries, facilitating their use of the entire array of its services. Each interaction will be positive and productive.

Quality: VA provides the highest standard of care and services to Veterans and beneficiaries while managing the cost of its programs and being efficient stewards of all resources entrusted to it by the American people.

Innovative: VA prizes curiosity and initiative, encourages creative contributions from all employees, seeks continuous improvement, and adapts to remain at the forefront in knowledge, proficiency, and capability to deliver the highest standard of care and services.

Agile: VA anticipates and adapts quickly to current challenges and new requirements by continuously assessing the environment in which it operates and devising solutions to better serve Veterans, other beneficiaries, and Service members.

Integrated: VA links care and services across the Department; other federal, state, and local agencies; partners; and Veterans Services Organizations to provide useful and understandable programs to Veterans and other beneficiaries. VA's relationship with the Department of Defense is unique, and VA will nurture it for the benefit of Veterans and Service members.

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