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VA, DOD Support Transitioning Military Service Members in New Data Effort

VA is collaborating with DOD to improve transition support for service members and veterans.

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The Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a joint data effort with the Defense Department to support military service members transitioning out of the military.

“Our vision with data is to lead American wellness. We want to do that by managing and integrating all of our vast and myriad data holdings that are vetted to a veteran-centric object model,” said VA Chief Data Officer Kshemendra Paul at a recent virtual event.

The initiative, called the Military to Civilian Readiness Pathway (M2C Ready), is helping to connect service members with comprehensive transition support one year before preseparation through one year post-separation.

This initiative falls under one of three areas VA is honing in on around its data transformation: transparency, participation and collaboration. Aligning its data management activities with DOD will drive cross-agency collaboration to develop a “continuum” from service member to veteran, Paul said.

VA and DOD are also increasing data interoperability to improve joint services to service members and veterans.

“We’re working toward joint analytics across the [VA and DOD],” Paul said. “We can ensure that that data is catalogued, managed jointly and is interoperable to support those transactions.”

Key to this effort will be development interoperability standards between the two agencies.

“We want to have that integrated data available for decision support at every echelon and across every encounter. We want to ensure that it’s trusted, reliable and repeatable to support access and outcome improvements,” Paul said.

The data strategy is part of VA’s overall digital modernization efforts that aim to transform business operations by modernizing systems and allocating resources more efficiently to be more competitive and provide better customer service to veterans and its workforce.

“VA’s data is our superpower. If we can unlock it, we can achieve integration of data that better serves veterans, have trusted and secure data and reliable leading indicators, improve ethical information safeguarding and sharing, provide leadership on American wellness, and cement VA as a highly reliable learning enterprise that accelerates innovation,” Paul said.

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