Veterans Affairs Pathfinder opens door for vendors & innovators hoping to sell

The Department of Veterans Affairs launched in early June serving as the “front door” for vendors and innovators to engage with VA while providing useful resources.

Via the Pathfinder website, users can submit their innovative ideas, solutions, products or services — and provide information about themselves, company or organization.

“This is a focused point of entry to selling and innovating with VA for our industry partners,” said VA Chief Acquisition Officer Michael Parrish. “It fills a gap we’ve found in the acquisition lifecycle by creating the fusion of acquisition and innovation with this intelligent system.”

Pathfinder allows an opportunity for VA to move forward in vendor engagements in a way that is unprecedented. It supports a backend system that ensures vendors have transparency, equity and support throughout the entire process in a timely and visible manner.

This also improves VA’s response time to companies or individuals looking for the status of their submission.

“In order for VA to provide the highest quality care to veterans, we must offer a more customer-focused pathway to engage industry, academia and veteran advocates who are actively working to solve veteran and health care challenges,” said VA’s Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning Community Engagement Director Suzanne Shirley. “Our goal is to remove barriers and assist vendors and innovators in navigating the organization while collaboratively improving care and services for veterans and their caregivers.”

“Pathfinder provides the road map to allow interested businesses of all sizes to understand the landscape and processes of identifying opportunities, and it walks them through the process with a real interaction,” said VA’s Director of Category Management Support Office Ernest Reed, Ph.D. “This allows VA to move forward in vendor engagements in a way that is unprecedented. Many vendors have never experienced the process of doing business with VA or the federal and government.”

VA’s Offices of Acquisition, Logistics and ConstructionHealthcare Innovation and Learning and Information and Technology are leading this initiative to transform the user experience.

VA will use submissions to conduct market research, build an innovation solution repository for continuous sourcing and match the innovative solutions from the repository with VA problem spaces.

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