For the nearly 800,000 veterans that call the Empire State home, the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services (DVS) works to ensure that they and their families receive every benefit granted to them by law. By working closely with other State, federal, and local agencies, DVS connects veterans and their families to resources to help with economic needs, employment, health care, and education.

On September 24, 2019, NYHealth hosted a conversation with Colonel (Ret.) Jim McDonough, Jr., U.S. Army, the newly appointed Director of DVS. Col. McDonough shared his vision for the future of DVS; changes he has seen since he last held this position more than a decade ago; and challenges he anticipates encountering during his tenure. Col. McDonough discussed some of his goals for DVS—including boosting spending per veteran in New York State, taking a more proactive stance on addressing the issues that women veterans face, and building streamlined services to address the multi-faceted needs of New York State’s veterans. He also discussed findings and recommendations from a recently released NYHealth-funded survey, a first-of-its-kind study that examined the organizational structure, financial stability, and array of services provided by DVS, as well as how DVS compares with other states’ Divisions of Veterans’ Affairs.

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