02.24.15

Daines: Montana Veterans Have Waited Long Enough for New VA Montana Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today aired his frustration with the Department of Veterans Affairs' ongoing failure to name a permanent director of VA Montana.

Daines’ comments come in light of VA Montana naming a new acting director to replace John Ginnity, who has served as acting director since June of last year and recently reached his maximum allowable days of service in that role. Under VA rules, an acting director may serve no more than 240 days in that role.

“Montana’s veterans have waited long enough. It’s time for a permanent director of VA Montana to be named,” Daines stated. “It is deeply troubling that VA Montana – which provides critical services to our veterans – has gone without permanent leadership since June of last year. I implore VA Secretary McDonald to quickly name a new, permanent director so that Montana’s veterans can receive the best care possible and the services they deserve.”

Earlier this month, Daines sent a letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald to urge swift action on naming a permanent director.

In the letter, Daines stressed that the prolonged delay in naming a new director has prevented VA Montana from addressing serious challenges facing the agency – including the recruitment and retention of qualified mental health care professionals.

This has resulted in the unacceptable situation where new psychiatric patients are no longer being admitted to VA Montana facilities and are being diverted to Sheridan, Wyoming, or local civilian medical facilities.

Daines’ letter to McDonald is available HERE.

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