LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – On Monday in an open forum with members, doctors, and staff, veterans got a chance to address concerns within the local Veterans Affairs system.

From privates to colonels--and everyone in between, these veterans spoke about what the VA is doing well and areas where it needs to improve, such as suicide prevention.

Officials say forums like this help the VA hospital tailor its services because the suggestions come from the people who actually use them.


“The only reason we are here is for veterans,” said Chief of Staff Tina McClain. “We would not exist without veterans, so it is absolutely critical that we hear from them and hear where we need to improve and how we do it.”

More open forums and town halls are scheduled for veterans in Hot Springs and Pine Bluff.

Meanwhile, the United States Senate passed new accountability rules for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Military Times reports the new rules ease firing rules for VA employees and allows department leaders to pull back bonuses and other specialty pays from individuals found guilty of wrongdoing. Senators hope to put the legislation on the President's desk by the end of this month.