CSP Director Departs VA as of April 3, 2019
March 19, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
RE: Veteran Warrior's Open Statement on the Departure of Ms. Kabat from the Caregiver Support Director Position at VACO
The departure of Ms. Kabat from the VA Central Office and managing the VA’s “Caregiver Program” brings trepidation to those of us “boots on the ground”. After spending over two years trying to engage the leadership of the program (and the VA); one would think advocates would be happy, well, we are not. We are anxious and walking blind through the maze that passes for laws, regulations and bureaucracy run amok.
During a recent Congressional hearing, Senator Patti Murray (D-WA), pushed the VA Secretary to suspend the revocations (removals) and tier reductions, until such time as the Secretary has rectified the problems (all the ones we identified). The Secretary promised that the suspension would take place and that he would “engage external stakeholders” to develop a plan to make the necessary corrections to the program. Since that hearing, my organization has spent weeks trying to engage VA leadership, to review the culmination of our 2 plus years of work; all of which highlights the rampant dysfunction and dereliction that is exhibited throughout the enterprise. At one point, VA leadership agreed to a meeting. They claimed to be genuinely interested in the training program we built, solely to educate every employee who works in the program. That effort alone would cure 90% of the problems we have identified.
After the meeting had been scheduled, we received a message that it was “paused”. We later were told that a “meme” posted by a volunteer (without executive approval and immediately removed AND apologized for, see apology), one that was very unkind to Ms. Kabat, was the reason our meeting was “paused”. That was a week ago. Since then, our attempts to reengage VA leadership have fallen on deaf ears. Quite literally, we have hit a stone wall. There are literally tens of thousands of veterans and their families who 1) are eligible for this program, and 2) are being denied access to this program solely based on misconstrued laws and regulations, policies created with the intent to “graduate” veterans (in contradiction to the intent of the law) and personal agendas that have skewed and damaged the very program veterans and their families rely upon. The use of “circling the wagons” and refusing to actually work with we “external stakeholders” will only continue to hamper the program’s existence and will be detrimental to the MISSION ACT expansion due next year.
As we all await word on Ms. Kabat’s replacement, we wish her the best in this next chapter of her life and we send up positive thoughts hoping that her replacement WILL be one who wants to fix this badly broken program.
Apology to CSP Director
March 8, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
RE: Veteran Warriors Leadership Apology to Caregiver Program Director after Volunteer Posted Inappropriate Meme
Veteran Warriors wants to make our position very clear on something that needs be said...
Veteran Warriors as an organization is extending a heartfelt and deeply sincere apology to Margaret "Meg" Kabat for what was unseemly and highly unprofessional post that docked on our page last night.
We - every person at Veteran Warriors - do NOT tolerate or suborn such actions. It is not part of our makeup or part of our mission.
Ms. Kabat, please accept our apologies. We truly do wish you the very best that life can give you, in all your future efforts whether they are within our veteran community or completely personal.
With sincere embarrassment,
Lauren Price Managing Director Veteran Warriors
~Email was also sent to Ms. Kabat's VACO email address with a personal apology
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