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VA Seeks Balance Between Mission and Maintenance


By Dan Hounsell Maintenance & Operations
VA hospital

Deferred maintenance inevitably puts executives and managers in Institutional and commercial facilities in a difficult position. While they recognize the need to maintain their facilities properly, maintenance is not an organization’s core mission. K-12 schools exist to educate students, not to perform maintenance, so helping students will always be the higher priority when allocating resources.

For the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the discussion is no different, as recently confirmed VA Secretary Denis McDonough acknowledged in discussing the American Rescue Plan bill, which contains more than $17 billion of additional funding for the VA, according to Military.

McDonough said while the VA will continue to pay network providers on time and maintain "vibrant networks" for veterans’ medical services, its facilities require attention. The department has a backlog of facilities maintenance and operates many buildings that are more than 50 years old and require recapitalization.

"We have to ... make sure that these institutions ... are brought up to speed -- things like new air control systems, zero pressure rooms," McDonough said, adding the VA will use part of the $17 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan legislation to pay for these upgrades.

Dan Hounsell is editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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