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June 20 -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of the Secretary, Center for Minority Veterans (CMV), is hereby giving notice of an opportunity for the public to provide available data and information on minority and historically underserved Veterans. Historically underserved Veterans includes racial and ethnic minority (Asian American; Black; Hispanic/Latino; Native American (including American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian); or Pacific-Islander American); LGBTQ+; those whose religious or conscientious identity, beliefs, and practices have been determined to be underserved; language barriers or are without citizenship status; and those in rural areas and on tribal lands. Comments must be received on or before August 21, 2023.

The Advisory Committee for Minority Veterans (ACMV) and CMV were first authorized in 1994 to address disparities in the use of VA benefits and services for five racial/ethnic groups defined by statute specifying Veterans who identify as Asian American; Black; Hispanic; Native American*(including American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian) or Pacific-Islander American. CMV identified that in addition to the current racial/ethnic groups, Veterans of Middle Eastern or North African descent and Veterans who identify as belonging to more than one race or ethnicity would benefit from being included in the list of groups served by CMV and ACMV. Additionally, with the input of various stakeholders, CMV identified additional groups of Veterans that have been historically underserved by the Department and designated “historically underserved” Veterans as those who are LGBTQ+ or are members in any religious faith that has been determined to be underserved.

CMV was established by Public Law 103–446 on November 2, 1994, in response to low utilization of VA benefits and services by minority Veterans. Public Law 103–446 defines “minority group member” as a Veteran who is: Asian American; Black; Hispanic/Latino; Native American (including American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian); or Pacific-Islander American. CMV is the Department of Veterans Affairs model for inter-and intra-agency co-operation, to ensure all Veterans receive equal service regardless of race, origin, religion or gender. CMV is focused on process improvement oriented for both internal and external customer-centric activities by assisting VA in executing its mission in the most equitable, efficient and humane way possible. CMV also supports the Administration and the VA's Secretary's Goals: Executive Order (E.O.) On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (E.O. 13985); VA Strategic Objective 2.1—Reaching all Veterans. Dignity and an acceptable quality of life are the products we seek to deliver to ALL Veterans no matter what their circumstance.

CMV invites the general public, educational institutions, Veteran-serving organizations, non-profit/non-governmental organization and other Federal agencies that conduct research on and/or provide services to the aforementioned cohorts of Veterans to submit and/or comment on data and information related to the following six priority areas: Demographic/Location data; Experience; Memorialization; Health; Benefits; Social Determinants of well-being. CVM requests available data and information on utilization, equity or demographic data and potential barriers that underserved communities may face in accessing and benefitting from the agency's policies, programs and activities on minority and historically underserved Veterans as identified. CMV will utilize this input to inform CMV's effort to improve outreach, education, engagement, enrollment, advocacy and access programs for minority and underserved Veterans. CMV is specifically interested in evidence and research based quantitative and qualitative information related to these six priority areas.

Respondents should provide data and information on any activities relevant to the identified cohort of Veterans in related to the six priority areas and those that capture equity-focused health; demographics/location; benefits; experience; social determinants of health; and memorialization.
 
CMV: https://www.va.gov/centerforminorityveterans/
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-13067

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