The Institute of Medicine's definition of primary care provides the foundation of VHA primary care. "Primary care is the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community."
VHA primary care gives eligible Veterans easy access to health care professionals familiar with their needs. It provides long-term patient-provider relationships, coordinates care across a spectrum of health services, educates, and offers disease prevention programs. Primary care now serves as the foundation of VHA health care and has become the first point of contact with the health care system for Veterans enrolled in VHA.