Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the country’s largest integrated healthcare system including but not limited to 152 medical centers and about 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics. More than 53,000 independent licensed healthcare professionals are part of the system which strives to meet the healthcare needs of more than 8.3 million veterans annually. VHA Medical Centers provide several services including surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, radiology, and physical therapy. VHA employs more than 239,000 employees at over 1,400 sites and also supports graduate medical education and medical research (United States Department of Veteran Affairs).
VHA’s mission is to provide exceptional healthcare to America’s Veterans in order to improve their health and wellbeing. Most of the nation’s veterans are eligible for at least some of the services provided by VHA and eligibility depends solely on service in one of the military branches such as Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. In the beginning, VHA mainly catered to only service-connected disabilities but now the agency provides a comprehensive set of services to enrolled veterans. It is especially a blessing for veterans with low-income who would otherwise may be without healthcare insurance and inadequate access to healthcare services. VHA provides uniform medical benefits package to all enrolled veterans even though veterans high on the priority list may also receive additional services such as nursing and dental care (Kaiser Family Foundation).
VHA’s budget is primarily funded by the Department of Defense and Congress also provides funds on an annual basis. Despite its huge size, VHA has been acknowledged as a leader in healthcare quality as well as innovation in medical technologies. The agency has also been recognized for an efficient management of human and financial resources including regional managers (Kaiser Family Foundation).
Kaiser Family Foundation. (n.d.). Military and Veteran’s Healthcare. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/Military-and-Veterans-Health-Care/Background-Brief.aspx
United States Department of Veteran Affairs. (n.d.). About VHA. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://www.va.gov/health/aboutVHA.asp