Defense Department, VA enter partnership to improve veteran care

Fort Belvoir, Virginia, UNITED STATES


Washington DC, Aug. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Improving veteran care by centralizing the procurement of medical supplies is the goal of an interagency agreement between the Defense Logistics Agency and Department of Veterans Affairs signed at the VA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Aug. 12.

DLA Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams and VA Secretary Robert Wilkie formalized the partnership, which is expected to help reduce costs of pharmaceutical national contracts, radiology and imaging contracts, and electronic cataloging.

“In the 21st century, an ad hoc supply chain is not sufficient,” Wilkie said. “It does not do justice to those we are sworn to serve. This is part of not only comprehensive reform of this institution, but it also cements our relationship with the Department of Defense.”

The partnership gives the VA access to DLA Troop Support’s worldwide procurement system for medical and surgical items, cleaning supplies and equipment, construction materials and equipment, and other supplies, according to a VA release. A centralized ordering system will also reduce risk, fraud, waste and abuse when ordering these materials.

“On behalf of the Department of Defense, we are proud to be a value-add to VA on behalf of America’s veterans,” Williams said. “Leveraging economies of scale, like the ones outlined in this agreement, help us reduce costs for the military services and other government partners like VA.”

The agreement is part of DLA’s Whole of Government portfolio, which provides supplies and services to non-DoD agencies, added Dan Strausbaugh, deputy division chief of DLA’s Whole of Government Support Division.

“We’re always reaching out for more business to better streamline certain processes and make the taxpayer’s burden on the federal government less,” he added.

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Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams (seated, right) signs an interagency agreement between DLA and the Department of Veterans Affairs with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie (seated, left) at the VA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Aug. 12. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie (center left) and Defense Logistics Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. Darrell Williams (center right) display the newly signed interagency agreement between DLA and VA with the team who helped make it possible behind them at VA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., Aug. 12.

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