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Veterans Health Administration

About VHA

Useful Terms

Healthcare System: In many areas of the country, several medical centers and clinics may work together to offer services to area Veterans as a Healthcare System (HCS) in an effort to provide more efficient care. By sharing services between medical centers, Healthcare Systems allow VHA to provide Veterans easier access to advanced medical care closer to their homes.

Examples of Healthcare Systems include the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System which serves the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania, and the VA Puget Sound Healthcare System which serves the Seattle and Tacoma areas of Washington state.

Community-Based Outpatient Clinic: To make access to health care easier, VHA utilizes more than 800 Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) across the country. These clinics provide the most common outpatient services, including health and wellness visits, without the hassle of visiting a larger medical center. VHA continues to expand the network of CBOCs to include more rural locations, putting access to care closer to home.

Community Living Center: Community Living Centers (CLC) are skilled nursing facilities, often referred to as nursing homes. Veterans with chronic stable conditions such as dementia, those requiring rehabilitation or those who need comfort and care at the end of life are served within one of our 135 Community Living Centers*.

Domiciliary: Forty-eight VHA Domiciliaries* provide a variety of care to Veterans who suffer from a wide range of medical, psychiatric, vocational, educational, or social problems and illnesses in a safe, secure homelike environment.

Vet Center: Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to all Veterans who served in any combat zone. Services are also available for family members dealing with military related issues. VHA operates 278 community based Vet Centers* in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Veterans Integrated Services Network: The U.S. is divided into 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks, or VISNs — regional systems of care working together to better meet local health care needs and provides greater access to care.

The Veterans Health Administration is home to the United States’ largest integrated health care system consisting of 150 medical centers, nearly 1,400 community-based outpatient clinics, community living centers, Vet Centers and Domiciliaries. Together these health care facilities and the more than 53,000 independent licensed health care practitioners who work within them provide comprehensive care to more than 8.3 million* Veterans each year.

Where is the Nearest Medical Center or other Health Care Facility?

Use the Facility Locator to find the VA medical facility that will best meet your health care needs using a variety of search methods including using your ZIP code.

Our Doctors

Once you find the VA medical facility that can best meet your health care needs, explore that facility’s Our Doctors tool. The “Our Doctors” online directory lists all independent health care licensed practitioners at the local medical center and within that health care system. This includes any individual permitted by law and by the organization to provide care and services, within the scope of the individual's license and consistent with individually granted clinical privileges.

While called “Our Doctors” the tool lists more than just physicians, with the directory including nurse practitioners, dentists, radiologists, psychologists and other staff who are directly involved in your care. Anyone can search and sort information for these providers based on your preferences and needs. The directory lists this staff in alphabetic order with their name, education, license, specialty and gender. With regular updates and additions to the directory, the resource is part of VA’s ongoing effort to provide the highest quality information and care.

Common Medical Center Services

VHA Medical Centers provide a wide range of services including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy.

In addition, most of our medical centers offer additional medical and surgical specialty services including audiology & speech pathology, dermatology, dental, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology, and vision care. Some medical centers also offer advanced services such as organ transplants and plastic surgery.

Patient Advocates

Available at every medical center, Patient Advocates are highly trained professionals who can help resolve your concerns about any aspect of your health care experience, particularly those concerns that cannot be resolved at the point of care. Patient Advocates listen to any questions, problems, or special needs you have and refer your concerns to the appropriate Medical Center staff for resolution.

VHA Leadership

portrait of Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy

Carolyn M. Clancy, MD
Interim Under Secretary for Health

As Interim Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Clancy oversees the health care needs of millions of Veterans enrolled in VHA, the nation's largest integrated health care system. With a medical care budget of more than $55 billion, VHA employs more than 288,000 staff at over 1,700 sites, including hospitals, clinics, community living centers (formerly called nursing homes), domiciliaries, and Vet Centers. In addition, VHA is the nation's largest provider of graduate medical education and a major contributor to medical research.

VHA Blueprint for Excellence

VHA Blueprint for Excellence

VHA Strategic Plan

VHA 2013-2018 Strategic Plan

VHA Mission

Honor America’s Veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

VA Health Care - Defining Excellence in the 21st Century

VHA Vision

VHA will continue to be the benchmark of excellence and value in health care and benefits by providing exemplary services that are both patient centered and evidence based.

This care will be delivered by engaged, collaborative teams in an integrated environment that supports learning, discovery and continuous improvement.

It will emphasize prevention and population health and contribute to the nation's well-being through education, research and service in National emergencies.

VHA Offices and Programs

A number of offices and programs support VHA.


* From the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics —