VISN 20: Northwest Network
1601 4th Plain Blvd Building 17, 4th Floor, Suite 403
Vancouver, WA 98661
Honor America's veterans by providing exceptional healthcare that improves their health and well-being.
Trust, Respect, Excellence, Commitment, and Compassion
VISN 20, the VA Northwest Health Network, includes the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, most of the state of Idaho, and one county each in Montana and California. VISN 20’s 135 counties cover approximately 23% of the United States land mass and 17% of the total national populated area, the largest percentage of all VISNs. Portions of 79% of VISN counties are classified as health professional shortage areas; and 67% of all counties had a 2001 per capita income below $25,000.
The Network is comprised of six medical centers (including two tertiary sites), one independent outpatient clinic, one rehabilitation center, 20 community based outpatient clinics, and one mobile clinic covering several sites. Other services are seven nursing home care units, two homeless domiciliaries and 14 readjustment counseling centers. Our operating budget exceeded $1.2B in FY 2004, with a research budget of over $70M. Two major academic affiliations with three Medical Centers support the VISN education mission. An additional 290+ affiliations exist with both regional and national academic institutions. VISN 20 currently employees over 8,200 people.
In FY 2004, VISN 20 served 194,949 veterans, a 6.6% increase over FY 2003; 86% of those veterans were Category A, a 7.7% increase over FY 2002. Nationally, veterans served increased 6.3%, and Category A veterans increased 4.4%; VISN 20 had the greatest increase in Category A and total veterans served of any Network.
VISN 20 has a patient-focused culture with a strong emphasis on continuous improvement. The VISN is widely recognized for promoting and achieving quality goals. In that context, VISN 20 leadership is committed to meeting its mission while sustaining a continual state of “readiness”. As a result, the Continuous Organizational Readiness Evaluation (CORE) program was developed in 1999(?) and signifies the network’s ability to meet the needs of patients, stakeholders, accreditation bodies, and others as needed every day without disruption in service. To always be “ready,” is a long-term commitment that includes the development of our own staff to serve as internal consultants. These consultants assist in the assessment of patient, staff, facility and other customer needs utilizing accreditation standards, Baldrige criteria, and other VISN standards. The internal consultant model is a key tool for identifying common areas for improvement as well as “positive practices” that can be exported across the VISN.
Our primary mission remains unchanged - to provide health care to veterans, supported and inextricably linked with our missions of health education and medical research. In today's environment, our fourth mission of serving in a support role for our community and DOD, has taken on an urgency of its own, and deserves our attention. Likewise, our organizational vision remains the same - to become an integrated health care delivery system.