WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) hosted Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald in Delaware to meet with veterans and students. McDonald, who was also joined by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, U.S. Congressman John Carney, Wilmington Medical Center Director Robin Aube-Warren, VISN 4 Network Acting Director Carla Sivek, and VA Regional Office Director Diana Reubens, began the day touring the VAMC, meeting with leadership from state veterans' organizations, and conducting an employee town hall. Following the Medical Center visit, he went to the University of Delaware to talk about the VA to nursing students.
"I want to thank Senator Carper for his invitation to come to Delaware and for organizing this year's summit," said Secretary McDonald. "I also want to thank all of the Veterans and Veteran Service Organization representatives that came together to join Senator Coons, Representative Carney and our local VA leadership for a very productive discussion about VA. I’ve been meeting with groups of Veterans like this as I've traveled to facilities across the country. Here in Delaware, you've been doing it for years under Senator Carper's leadership. I know that feedback has helped make this a better facility that provides good care to Delaware Veterans. It is feedback from meetings like today's summit and from employee town halls that are informing VA's reorganization and our efforts to look at everything we do through the lens of the Veteran."
"The president nominated Secretary McDonald to head the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at a time when reform and leadership was greatly needed," said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, a 23-year veteran of the Navy. "Today, we heard about how he is restructuring the agency, focusing on fixing its problems, and making sure our veterans are the top priority. I am proud that we had the opportunity to host the Secretary in the First State and that he was able to meet with our veterans, VA medical center staff, and students at the University of Delaware. He is committed to providing the veterans who sacrificed so much for us with the care and benefits they rightly deserve and I will continue working with my colleagues in the Senate to carry out this critical mention."
"Those who have served our country and defended our freedom deserve the best care we can possibly provide, to heal both physical and emotional wounds," said Sen. Coons. "It was a pleasure to welcome Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald to the Wilmington VA Medical Center for Sen. Carper’s annual Veterans Summit. I truly appreciate the time Secretary McDonald spent to engage with the veterans who rely on the VA for their health, as well as his open dialogue with those health professionals who provide their wellbeing."
"Delaware's veterans made tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation. They deserve the highest quality medical care and a system that's responsive to their needs," said Congressman Carney. "Today’s summit was to hear veterans' ideas and concerns so that we can serve them better. I very much appreciate Sec. McDonald for joining the discussion, and for his commitment to all our nation's veterans. I look forward to taking the lessons we learned today back to Washington so we can continue working to honor the commitments made to those who've served."
"We were honored to host Secretary McDonald and the Delaware Congressional delegation today for this important event where we heard directly from Veteran leaders and VA employees in an effort to better serve our Veterans and their families," said Wilmington Medical Center Director Robin Aube-Warren. "These discussions provide the framework for a VA that measures success based on Veteran outcomes and satisfaction."