Local veterans’ leaders representing Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) announced an effort to thank the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and local community healthcare providers for their partnership to provide more timely, quality care to Phoenix area Veterans under the Veterans Choice Program. Today, the billboards were launched at 7th Street and Indian School, directly next to the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center.

The local leaders released the following joint statement:

“The Veterans Choice Program supports and strengthens VA’s mission by expanding access to care in the community when and where it is needed. We believe it is important to help bring the community together by recognizing this important collaboration and recognize VA and community care providers for their dedication to Veterans.

“As we look back on the launch of the Veterans Choice Program two years ago, it is clear that Veterans’ access to timely, quality care in the community has significantly expanded because of this vital program. While the Choice Program has faced its fair share of challenges, as one would expect from a program that was stood up so fast in response to a crisis, it continues to improve to help meet the growing demand for care here in Phoenix.

“Because of the partnership of Congress and VA and the hard work of over 8,000 local health care providers supporting the 400 VA health care providers in Phoenix, over 66,000 Arizona Veterans have received more than 131,000 appointments under the Choice Program. Arizona Veterans are on average having their appointment scheduled with community providers within three days, with the actual appointment occurring on average within 16 days. The Choice Act has allowed partnerships between VA and the community to expand greatly, ensuring more Veterans receive timely high quality care. As the Choice Act continues to grow and improve, more and more Veterans will benefit.

“As we prepare to observe Veterans Day, it is more important than ever that we keep working together to improve the Choice Program and honor the commitment this nation made to care for its Veterans.”