The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is in the midst of its greatest transformational period in history. The ERPi communication team is supporting our Veterans Health Administration (VHA) communication client in keeping employees, Veterans, Congress and other stakeholders informed about VHA Modernization – a key initiative. VHA is modernizing to meet 21st century health care needs by updating and transforming systems and processes across the enterprise.
The communication team supports leadership in crafting interesting and effective messages to assist them in communicating with all audiences. We develop strategic communication plans and then create talking points, videos, presentations and communication toolkits that help leaders manage VHA change processes by communicating effectively with diverse stakeholders.
Much of our work focuses on communicating with the 341,000 VHA employees nationwide to help them understand where VHA is headed and their role in Modernization. We create blog posts and articles, hot sheets and fact sheets, infographics, podcasts, web content, social media posts and many more products.
All hands are on deck when we produce events, such as the recent VHA Central Office (VHACO) Town Hall which announced a major VHACO redesign. We also supported VA’s Modernization Fair earlier this year by standing up and staffing booths to highlight the various Modernization “lanes of effort” or components.
On any given day, our team members may write content for a newsletter on supply chain transformation, develop answers to frequently asked questions, draft a human resources reference guide or develop educational tools to support implementation of the VA MISSION Act. Our communication efforts do more than inform; they also help boost morale, increase engagement and help employees understand what Modernization means for them and the Veterans they serve. Modernization communication products aid employees in adopting changes that improve Veterans’ health care and relaying information to the public.
We work closely with ERPi and VHA program management and change management teams to help articulate their plans and effectively implement key activities. ERPi has supported some of us in obtaining Change Management certification to increase our ability to effectively communicate about all the changes that are occurring. We partner with graphic designers who help us bring our ideas to visual life and with IT staff in setting up and managing multiple SharePoint sites.
We prepare public-facing communications, such as press releases, Congressional talking points and responses to media inquiries to support leadership with external communications as well. While we are behind the scenes, our work is very visible. We are the communicators supporting the VHA Office of Health Care Transformation − and proud of it!
Sima Michaels Dembo