Brooks, Braun, and Rice Introduce Legislation to Recruit U.S. Military Healthcare Professionals
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswomen Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY04) introduced H.R. 7441, the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2020 to ensure the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs collaborate to recruit medical personnel leaving the armed services to work for the Veterans Health Administration. Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN).
“There are tens of thousands of open positions in the Veterans Health Administration, and in order to fill those slots and provide good jobs to healthcare professionals departing the armed services, our bill seeks to recruit those departing service members back into federal service at the VA,” said Brooks. “This bipartisan legislation could be the solution to filling open positions and retaining our departing healthcare professionals in the armed forces within Federal healthcare. The medical system that services our nation’s veterans needs to have the best and brightest. Recruiting departing DOD medical personnel is the best way to fill these spots with highly qualified men and women who have already been trained to care for our military family.”
“There are few individuals as uniquely qualified to fill the open positions in the Veterans Health Administration than departing military medical personnel," said Rice. "By ensuring the recruitment of these servicemembers, this bill will help provide good-paying jobs for our nation's veterans and help fill tens of thousands of open healthcare positions at the VA. I thank Congresswoman Brooks for leading this bipartisan legislation, and I hope it will be passed and signed into law swiftly."
Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
“Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act of 2020 is a long overdue bill. Our highly trained military medical professionals have acquired their indispensable skills while in service to our nation,” said Braun. “This bill seeks to actively recruit our Veterans to work in the Veterans Health Administration when they leave active duty. Veterans serving Veterans is a formula that will undoubtfully provide robust healthcare. I support the effort of my colleagues in the House, Representatives Brooks and Rice, and we are hopeful this bill will help fill thousands of open positions currently found in the VA.”
There are tens of thousands of open VA positions across the country. 13,000 departing military healthcare professionals separate from the military each year. Currently there is no program in place to actively recruit these separating healthcare professionals.
The goal of the Hire Veteran Health Heroes Act is to recruit that talent back into government service. The bill would require VA human resources staff involved in the required transitions assistance program (TAPS) classes and briefings that all service members must do before they leave the service.
There the human resources staff would give an overall brief to separating medical personnel (doctors, nurses, dentists, medics, radiology technicians, medical administrators, biomedical maintenance technicians, etc.) about employment opportunities, then for those who are interested, a one on one meeting would be set up with the human resources technician.
If the service member met the qualifications, the separating service member could be given a tentative job offer for any open position in any VA facility using direct hiring authorities.
This would be for Title 38 (providers), Hybrid, and Title 5 (administrative) positions, and at all grades, including senior leadership positions. Then the service members packet would be forwarded to the gaining facility for credentials check, background check, interviews, etc. before a final offer would be made.