From the Field Staff

By Ed Eckroth

Field Service Transformation


When I took on the role as National Director of the Field Service Program (FSP), I pledged to determine what our best practices were and what areas we could improve. This assessment has led to the current transformation of FSP. With VA services changing and much of the record-keeping becoming electronically based, we also found it necessary to make many changes.

Our goal is to transform FSP into an enhanced benefit and services management program to better serve all of our veterans.

The first step was the promotion of Claudia Perry to National Training Coordinator. Claudia was challenged with the responsibility to re-develop our training program. Over the next year she will be working to create a training manual and helping to complete the three-part transformation of the FSP team from Field Representatives to National Service Officers. They will become an enhanced benefit and services management team, providing better claim and benefit service to all of the veterans we serve.

Another area we looked at was our BRC outreach. As we visited BRCs we saw a variety of outcomes and results. We further challenged Claudia to visit each BRC at least once. Claudia is training our Service Officers on best practices in order to maintain a consistent approach. She is also communicating with BRC staff about the best practices they have demonstrated at their facilities.

With the development of the claim and service management team, we also took an in-depth look at the regions in which our Service Officers work. We found that some had many more blind veterans than others. This discovery resulted in the development of a new Region 7 and a reallocation of states for Regions 3, 4, 5, 6 (see Around BVA, “FSP Regions Reorganized”). Please call your local Service Officer or the Field Service Program at national headquarters if you have any questions or concerns regarding where your claim is being handled.

As we complete the region reallocation, we continue the development and transformation of the Field Service Program. We are developing an enhanced and revitalized Volunteer Service Officer program and conducting a computerized centralized management program that will better serve veterans with claims. Our FSP staff and I look forward to serving everyone in this exciting reorganization.