The Center’s Mission
To assist Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to “keep the promise’ by acting as facilitator, change agent, strategic thinker, honest broker and cheerleader to the men and women of VA in executing its MISSION. As internal consultants to the organization, we will facilitate VA&rsuqo;s ability to deliver services to veterans worldwide by approaching our mission with a “Veteran Comes First” philosophy based on a deep respect for the men and women who dedicated themselves to the defense of our Nation. We acknowledge the diversity of our veterans and profoundly value the strength and unique character this diversity has contributed to our great Nation.
Who We Serve
The Center for Minority Veterans (CMV) was established by Public Law 103-446, in 1994. Title 38, United States Code (USC), Section 317 reflects the current responsibilities of the CMV. The Center Director serves as principal advisor to the Secretary on the adoption and implementation of policies and programs affecting minority Veterans. CMV serves as an advocate for minority Veterans by conducting outreach activities to promote the awareness and use of VA benefits and services.
What We Do
The Center’s activities include:
- Makes recommendations to the Secretary, the Under Secretary for Health, the Under Secretary for Benefits, and other Department officials for the establishment or improvement of programs in the Department for which Veterans who are minorities are eligible.
- Promotes the use of benefits authorized by this title by Veterans who are minorities and the conduct of outreach activities to Veterans who are minorities, in conjunction with outreach activities carried out under chapter 77 of this title [38 USCS §§ 7701 etseq.].
- Disseminates information and serve as a resource center for the exchange of information regarding innovative and successful programs which improve the services available to Veterans who are minorities.
- Conducts and sponsors appropriate social and demographic research on the needs of Veterans who are minorities and the extent to which programs authorized under this title meet the needs of those Veterans, without regard to any law concerning the collection of information from the public.
- Analyzes and evaluates complaints made by or on behalf of Veterans who are minorities about the adequacy and timeliness of services provided by the Department and advise the appropriate official of the Department of the results of such analysis or evaluation.
- Consults with, and provides assistance and information to, officials responsible for administering Federal, State, local, and private programs that assist Veterans, to encourage those officials to adopt policies which promote the use of those programs by Veterans who are minorities.
- Advises the Secretary when laws or policies have the effect of discouraging the use of benefits by Veterans who are minorities.
- Publicizes the results of medical research which are of particular significance to Veterans who are minorities.
- Advises the Secretary and other appropriate officials on the effectiveness of the Department’s efforts to accomplish the goals of section 492B of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 289a-2) with respect to the inclusion of minorities in clinical research and on particular health conditions affecting the health of members of minority groups which should be studied as part of the Department’s medical research program and promote cooperation between the Department and other sponsors of medical research of potential benefit to Veterans who are minorities.
- Provides support and administrative services to the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans provided for under section 544 of this title.
- Performs such other duties consistent with this section as the Secretary shall prescribe.
How We Outreach to Minority Veterans
CMV is charged with identifying barriers to service and health care access, as well as increasing local awareness of minority Veteran related issues by developing strategies for improving minority participation in existing VA benefit programs. CMV utilizes three major outreach initiatives to ensure minority Veterans concerns are addressed:
Minority Veterans Program Coordinator (MVPC)
The primary goal of this outreach initiative is to increase local awareness of minority Veteran related issues and develop strategies for increasing their participation in existing VA benefit programs for eligible Veterans. MVPCs are located at Regional Offices, Health Care Facilities and National Cemeteries and are responsible for:
- Promoting the use of VA benefits, programs, and services by minority Veterans.
- Supporting and initiating activities that educate and sensitize internal staff to the unique needs of minority Veterans.
- Targeting outreach efforts to minority Veterans through community networks.
- Advocating on behalf of minority Veterans by identifying gaps in services and make recommendations to improve service delivery within their facilities.
Advisory Committee On Minority Veterans (ACMV)
Appointed by the Secretary, The Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (ACMV) was established under Public Law 103-446 § 510, November 2, 1994. The Committee consists of veterans who represent respective minority groups and are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to the needs of the minority group they embody. The Committee responsibilities include:
- Advising the Secretary and Congress on VA’s administration of benefits and provisions of health care, benefits, and services to minority Veterans.
- Providing an annual report to Congress outlining recommendations, concerns and observations on VA’s delivery of services to minority Veterans.
- Meeting with VA officials, Veteran Service Organizations, and other stakeholders to assess the Department’s efforts in providing benefits and outreach to Minority Veterans.
- Making periodic site visits and holding town hall meetings with Veterans to address their concerns.
Veteran Business and Economic Development Outreach
A need exists to educate, inform and identify minority Veteran business owners and potential business owners on the intricacies of contract and business procedures, processes and contracting opportunities available in both the government and private sectors. CMV has partnered with the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU) to co-sponsor business outreach activities to target minority Veterans, disabled minority Veterans and current minority business owners. The goal is to address business related needs; identify opportunities and benefits, provide access to business opportunities and contracts within the federal government, and private sector. Specifically, we sponsor business and entrepreneurial outreach conferences for minority and disabled Veterans to help them with the following:
- Understanding the processes involved for business start-ups, financing and government contracting.
- Gaining basic working knowledge of contracting, SDB, Hub Zone, 8A certifications, marketing and business legal structures.
- Developing immediate contracts and emphasizing the importance of networking, communication and relationship building.