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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thanked Disabled American Veterans’ (DAV) members from Arkansas and across the nation for their work on behalf of veterans and highlighted their shared priority to expand the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) capacity to deliver high quality health care during a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

DAV leaders testified before members of the Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committees to present their 2023 policy goals where they advocated for the Boozman-championed VA Clinician Appreciation, Recruitment, Education, Expansion, and Retention Support (CAREERS) Act as well as the need for improved retention and recruitment of VA health professionals. 

“The VA CAREERS Act is a crucial piece of legislation for reducing vacancies and staffing shortages in the VA. VA continues to be at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining the most talented medical professionals across the country, especially in rural areas,” Boozman said during the hearing before asking about the importance of this legislation for the care for veterans. 

“It’s more critical than ever to be able to hire and recruit the best and the brightest for VA. Our veterans deserve no less,” DAV Legislative Director Joy Ilem said. “We’re happy to be behind you to get that across the finish line.”

Boozman thanked DAV for its support of the legislation and emphasized a provision he authored that would require the VA Secretary to ensure a plan is in place to fill vacant medical center director positions in response to the Fayetteville VA Medical Center being without a permanent director for nearly two years. 

“We simply have to get those positions filled,” Boozman said.

On Monday, the senator met with members of Arkansas DAV to discuss the organization’s legislative priorities for 2023 in advance of the Senate hearing.