Associated Health Education Program - Office of Academic Affiliations
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Office of Academic Affiliations


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Associated Health Education Program

Affiliation Agreements | Contact OAA

More about VA training programs.

VA is a leader in the training of clinical associated health professionals. Associated Health Education (AHE) includes all health professions with the exception of Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing. Through affiliation agreements with more than 1,800 individual health professions schools and colleges, clinical placements and fellowships are provided to health professions trainees (HPT) in more than 40 professions. Approximately 123,000 HPTs rotate through VA annually.

VA's Office of Academic Affiliations supports the training of more than 7,700 mental health professionals annually, and approximately 70 percent of VA psychiatrists and psychologists report receiving some of their clinical training at a VA medical center (VAMC). Nationally, nearly one in five VA psychologists complete their doctoral internships in VA, and half of the profession’s accredited postdoctoral residencies are in VA.

To meet national mental health workforce needs, VA’s Mental Health Education Expansion (MHEE) Initiative added more than 770 funded training slots across ten professions since 2013. With an emphasis in interprofessional education and team‐based care, MHEE offer opportunities for health professions trainees to understand and appreciate their own profession, other professional perspectives, and how professions complement one another..

For additional information regarding without compensation or funded AHE trainee positions, please contact the education office at the VAMC where yo uare interested in training or reach out to the profession-specific clinical national program office.

Guidance on Appointment of Year Long Trainees: Eligibility for Federal Health and Life Insurance
Associated Health Education Success Stories

Steven Huybrecht, DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) July 2017-18, St. Louis VAMC
Steven Huybrecht, DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) July 2017-18, St. Louis VAMC
"My experience as a resident at the St Louis Health Care System was the single biggest factor in my decision to seek full-time employment as a chiropractor and led me to my current position within VA Palo Alto Health Care System. After completing a clinical clerkship in an inpatient rehab unit within a hospital in High Point, NC, I was drawn to hospital-based care and sought pathways to find a position in one of these settings. Ultimately, the residency within VA stood out amongst other options including private practice or entrepreneurship due to the ability to work closely with and learn from other providers, the chance to participate in research projects, which might improve care and clinical outcomes, and the opportunity to serve veterans.As a resident I was energized in this setting. I also had the opportunity to present a poster on behalf of our team at an annual national chiropractic research conference regarding a veteran under care in our clinic. The experience gained through the process of creating an academic submission will likely be useful for future scholarly projects. We were able to improve the resident training experience through the creation of a medical specialties guide to assist and educate chiropractic residents during interprofessional rotations. Due to this exceptional experience, I knew that I would not be truly satisfied as a provider unless I was able to find a position within VA so I applied to a half dozen or so openings ranging from Phoenix to Nashville and Omaha to Stockton. With limited positions within VA nationally (~200 total nationwide) I was willing, with the support of my amazing wife, to move anywhere across the nation for an opportunity to work at Veterans Affairs, and fifteen months into my current employment I can resoundingly say the decision has been the right one. The work is fulfilling, the mission is honorable and I’m proud to be a part of a team who makes the lives of veterans of our nation’s armed forces better. Additionally, our service line was recently approved for a new chiropractic residency program (now 1 of 10 such programs nationwide at VA) and I’m excited for the opportunity to give back through mentorship, which was formative during my experience as a resident. The work is fulfilling, the mission is honorable, and I’m proud to be a part of a team improving the lives of veterans of our nation’s armed forces."

More Associated Health Education success stories can be found here.