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About us

At the VA Portland Health Care System, we’re dedicated to improving the lives of Veterans and their families every day.

About VA Portland Health Care System

VA Portland 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

VA Portland Health Care System serves more than 95,000 unique Veterans and 950,000 outpatient visits each year in Oregon and Southwest Washington. 

VA Portland consists of the main tertiary care medical center overlooking the city of Portland, the Vancouver Campus in Vancouver, Wash., and ten outpatient clinics across central and northwest Oregon.  Our health care system  provides a full continuum of inpatient, outpatient, long-term, and emergent care and is proud to host several national-level Centers of Excellence leading research efforts from mental illness to Parkinson’s, Epilepsy to auditory research, and others.  The Portland VA Medical Center is connected to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)  both physically and through academic partnerships with shared research endeavors, the training of healthcare professionals, and the use of shared staff including scientists, clinician-educators, and clinician-researchers.

Learn more about VISN 20, the VA NW Health Network which includes  all Veterans Health Administration facilities in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and one county each in California and Montana. 

Research and development

Four photos of VA Portland Research and Development investigators in lab working.

At the Portland 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. 

We have more than 150 investigators conducting more than 500 active studies. Research is conducting in a total of 98,000 square feet of wet and dry lab space that supports programs in basic science, clinical research, rehabilitation, health services, cooperative studies, epidemiology, and outcomes research. 

Our research centers include:

Major research areas include:

  • Connections between heredity and alcoholism
  • Cancer treatment
  • Hearing loss
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Hepatitis C

Teaching and learning

The Portland 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. More than 1,200 university residents, interns, and students receive training each year. We provide professional training in most major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Our training programs include residencies in:

  • Nursing (offers a residency, as well as undergraduate and other graduate training)
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Social work
  • Psychology
  • Chaplaincy
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Dietetics
  • Audiology
  • Speech pathology
  • Alcohol and drug treatment
  • Radiology
  • Laboratory
  • Dental assistant

We have partnerships with many colleges, universities, and professional schools throughout the United States. Our affiliates include:

  • Oregon Health & Sciences University
  • University of Portland
  • Linfield College
  • Walla Walla College

We’re proud of our partnerships with top institutions and organizations that support the educational mission of the VA.

Fast facts

  • VA Portland Health Care System serves more than 95,000 Veterans. We complete more than 950,000 outpatient visits each year.
  • We serve 26 counties in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The first hospital for Veterans in Portland was opened by the U.S. Public Health Service in November 1921. It was transferred in 1922 to the Veterans Bureau, the agency that preceded VA.
  • The current VA hospital in Portland was completed and dedicated in 1987.
  • In 2019, our scientists received more than $37 million in research grants from VA, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and more.
  • Portland VA Medical Center is designated as a Magnet hospital in recognition of our cutting-edge research, quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing practice.
  • Loren R. Kaufman VA Clinic is named for Pfc. Lauren R. Kaufman, who was born in The Dalles in 1923. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service at the Battle of Yongsan in the Korean War.

Accreditations and Achievements

    Logo; MAGNET Recognized. American Nurses Credentialing Center, green with white letering

    Our facilities and programs have received accreditation from the Joint Commission.

    VA Portland Health Care System has received the following awards:

    • Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert W. Carey Performance Excellence Award, 2012; Trophy Award 2013 (highest level).
    • California Award for Performance Excellence, 2012 & 2013
    • Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, 2011-2012
    • Magnet Hospital designation, 2006, 2010, 2015, and 2020
    • Healthcare Equality Index, 2014-2021
    • Donate Live Northwest gold medal, 2013