ST. CLOUD -- Federal mediators have issued a progress report following their work at the St. Cloud VA, and the result is a positive one.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) led managers at the VA Hospital through two sessions of intensive training exercises, discussions, and instruction to deliver quality care to veterans.

The training, known as Relationship-by-Objective, resulted in what FMCS commissioner Darlene Voltin called "real and positive change" in a statement released to the media.

The objectives included labor-management training, improved communication and pre-decisional collaboration. Assessments of each area are planned over the course of the year.

In a statement, St. Cloud VA Director Barry Bahl says a quality work environment for employees is "critical" to caring for veterans.

The St. Cloud VA faced scrutiny last fall after an investigation that found problems in the work environment was kept under wraps.