The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Optometry Service was created by Public Law 94-581 on October 21, 1976 with the establishment of the Director of Optometric Service position. In that law optometrists were also transferred with podiatrists into Chapter 73 of Title 38, United States Code that had previously included dentists, allopathic and osteopathic physicians.
Within the Office of Specialty Care Services in the Office of Patient Care Services at VA Central Office, optometry and ophthalmology are equal partners working together to provide the full spectrum of primary, secondary and tertiary eye care services. By utilizing the complementary strengths of both eye care professions, our Nation's Veterans have greatly benefited. This strategic alliance has resulted in the development of national VA/DoD Diabetes Mellitus Clinical Practice Guidelines as well as the VA Teleretinal Imaging Screening Program with the Office of Telehealth Services to improve access and reduce preventable blindness from diabetic retinopathy.