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Karen Brazell, chief acquisition officer at VA, and COL Andrew Centineo (USA ret.), executive director of the Office of Procurement and Logistics at VHA discuss how the Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming up with the Pentagon to acquire medical tools and improve veteran care.

Two of the largest federal agencies are teaming up to ensure a robust supply chain for medical care. The Veterans Health Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency will work together to acquire medical tools and technology that can help the citizens they serve. Karen Brazell, Chief Acquisition Officer at VA, says that this another step in an ongoing partnership between the agencies. 

We have had some starts and stops based on legislation that’s been imposed upon the VA in our acquisition processes. Probably in the last 18 months, the partnership was put back in play and bringing the folks to the table. All stakeholders and help us find a way to get to increase the way VA spends,” Brazell said. “We had $27 billion of spend in 2019 and 18 billion of that was under category management. Under the right categories, we have opportunities for 8 billion dollars to get us into more of the best in class and buying smarter. 

 

COL Andrew Centineo (USA ret.), executive director, Office of Procurement and Logistics, VHA, that the supply chain tools they’re sharing with the Defense Department will help VA support everyone they’re accountable to. 

 

We have what I look at as two people we answer to. The veteran, first and foremost, we want to deliver the best product in the best time to ensure they have the best services, healthcare, etc,” Centineo said. We also answer to the taxpayer. We have to have IT enablers and business systems that give us the visibility at the enterprise level. We are a huge organization and very distributed. What we need to do is start to see that information and gather it up so we can make informed decisions. 

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