Senator heard Arizona veteran community’s key priorities, discussed further partnership opportunities delivering for Arizona veterans and their families
PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema hosted a roundtable discussion with Arizona Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) about the veteran community’s greatest challenges and priorities.
“Hearing directly from Arizona’s veteran community allows me to effectively advocate on their behalf in Washington and continue holding the VA accountable. I’m grateful to continue my partnership with Arizona Veterans Service Organizations ensuring our veterans receive the care and benefits they’ve earned,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
Sinema discussed with Arizona VSOs multiple key priorities for the veteran community, including the VA’s Family Caregiver Program. During the meeting, Sinema highlighted how the VA Caregivers Program serves as a lifeline for Arizona veterans and their caregivers, and welcomed VA’s recent announcement that it will halt the discharge of legacy participants in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).
Sinema shared how she and her team have repeatedly heard about concerns from Arizona veterans and their caregivers on how they will get by if they are removed from the program. The roundtable participants also discussed the need for more open communication between the VA and Caregivers Program participants to ensure proper and appropriate planning.
Earlier this year, Sinema called on the VA to improve its Caregivers Program for Arizona veterans and their families by better communicating with veterans and their families as changes to the Caregivers Program are implemented. Sinema also requested the VA to soften barriers of program entry and provide more support to those seeking to reapply.
During the roundtable, Sinema heard from Arizona VSOs about the need for increased resources for veteran health care, especially for veterans in rural and remote areas. The Senator voiced her strong support for improving access to the VA and increasing mental health services. Sinema discussed her work in securing an ATLAS Pod in Arizona, saving veterans hours of unnecessary transportation to the nearest VA clinic. In the interest of serving Arizona veterans to the fullest extent possible, Sinema pledged to continue working with VSOs on promoting other vital telehealth services.
Sinema also heard concerns about the AIR Commission’s recent recommendations, and pledged to continue working with the Veterans Integrated Service Networks, the VA, and partners on the ground to ensure the recommendations are right for Arizona veterans and result in a transparent process.