WASHINGTON – December 21, 2011 - The Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that all of its 152 medical centers are now actively represented on Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site.
“This event marks an important milestone in the overall effort to transform how VA communicates with Veterans and provide them the health care and benefits they have earned,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Veterans and their families told us from the beginning that they want to engage and they want relevant information delivered at the local level. By leveraging Facebook, the Department continues to expand access to VA, and embrace transparency and two-way conversation.”
The process that began with a single Veterans Health Administration Facebook page in 2008 has now produced over 150 Facebook pages, 64 Twitter feeds, a YouTube channel, a Flickr page, and the VAntage Point blog. Additionally, in June 2011, VA produced a Department-wide social media policy that provides guidelines for communicating with Veterans online. The overarching strategy is designed to help break down long-perceived barriers between the Department and its stakeholders.
“Veterans of all eras are depending on us to get the right information to the right person at the right time,” said Brandon Friedman, VA’s director of online communications, and a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. “With more troops returning home, we also have a responsibility to connect with the thousands of Servicemembers who have been—and will be—entering our system. They’re using social media, so that’s where we need to be. Facebook helps us do that.”
“We are very pleased to have pioneered social media in VA, and now our VA medical centers across the nation are all engaged,” said Dr. Robert Petzel, under secretary for health. “We are committed to helping Veterans understand their benefits and receive the health care their service has earned them.” read more>>>