Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.
Veterans Crisis Line Badge

Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


Secretary Shulkin Delivers His First State of the VA Address

May 31, 2017, 09:27:00 AM

Printable Version

Secretary Shulkin Delivers His First ‘State of the VA’ Address

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin delivered his first “State of the VA” address today, highlighting the activity and direction of the agency since his appointment in February. In his address, Secretary Shulkin stated that he wanted to update Veterans on the progress the agency is making while also acknowledging the shortcomings that the VA has identified and will address in the upcoming months.

“As a physician, I tend to look at things in terms of the way I was trained — assess, diagnose and then aggressively treat the patient,” Secretary Shulkin said. “Though we are taking immediate and decisive steps, we are still in critical condition and require intensive care.”

The address covered a wide spectrum of issues within the VA, including Access to Care; Community Care and Choice; Accountability; and the quality of care provided to Veterans. Secretary Shulkin identified multiple priorities, such as reducing backlogs and getting more Veterans access to mental health care and suicide prevention programs. 

Addressing improvements in accountability and VA administration, Secretary Shulkin stated that while he was able to initiate the Executive Order establishing the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection signed by President Trump, “further legislation is needed and needed now.” 

The goal, the Secretary said, is to “turn the VA into the organization Veterans and their families deserve, and one that America can take pride in.” 

A fact sheet highlighting some of the elements of Secretary Shulkin’s address as well as the text of his address can be found at:


Disclaimer of Hyperlinks

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Veterans Affairs of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized VA activities, the Department does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided with the intent of meeting the mission of the Department and the VA website. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate and about specific additional external links which you believe ought to be included by emailing

People wishing to receive e-mail from VA with the latest news releases and updated fact sheets can subscribe to the
VA Office of Public Affairs Distribution List.

Back to News Releases Index

Search VA News Releases