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About us

At the Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System, we’re dedicated to improving the lives of Veterans and their families.

About The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System 

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System provides you with outstanding health care, trains America’s future health care providers, and conducts important medical research. 

Health care and services

We provide you with health care services at 7 locations, serving a 21-county area in South Carolina and Georgia. Facilities include our Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston and 6 community-based outpatient clinics in Beaufort, North Charleston, Goose Creek, Hinesville, Myrtle Beach, and Savannah. To learn more about the services each location offers, visit the VA Charleston health services page

The VA Charleston Healthcare System is one of the leading health care systems serving Veterans in the VA Southeast Network. We’re an innovative care center within the Veterans Integrated Service Network 7 (VISN 7), which includes medical centers and clinics in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Learn more about VISN 7

Research and development

At the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, we conduct research to discover knowledge, develop VA scientists and health care leaders, and create innovations that advance health care for Veterans and the nation. We offer Veterans the opportunity to participate in and benefit from our work. Our goal is to use research to promote better health and health care for all.

Our research program includes more than 190 projects conducted by 95 research investigators and more than 300 research associates and staff. The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System is regarded for the volume of research funded by VA and National Institutes of Health, and for our history of success and achievement.

Major research areas include: 

  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Diabetes
  • Hematology/oncology
  • Rheumatology
  • Nephrology
  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • Mental health
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Hypertension
  • Aging
  • Rural health
  • Stroke injury

Teaching and learning

The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center is a teaching hospital that provides a full range of services, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research. We provide professional training in most major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. We’re proud of our partnerships with top institutions and organizations that support the educational mission of the VA.

Fast facts

  • The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System services more than 75,000 Veterans in a region that includes more than 15,000 square miles.
  • Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center has 152 beds and 20 operating nursing home beds.
  • Our hospital was renamed in 1991 for Marine Pfc. Ralph H. Johnson, a Charleston native who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for acts of bravery in Vietnam.
  • In 2016, we completed 875,114 outpatient visits and recorded 4,368 inpatient admissions.
  • We first created a 4-member clinical team in 1990 to diagnose and treat PTSD. At the time, it was one of only 26 such teams in VA.
  • The non-profit research corporation, Charleston Research Institute, accepts gifts, donations, and grants for VA research.
  • Our research programs received more than $10 million of funding from the VA in 2016. We also earned more than $14 million in funds from non-VA sources.

Accreditation and achievements

Our facilities and programs have received accreditation from:

  • The Joint Commission
  • Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons
  • College of American Pathology
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education


Map of the Ralph H. Johnson VA main campus  

Map of the first floor of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Map of the second floor of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Map of the third floor of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Map of the fourth floor of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center