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About us

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

About the VA Puget Sound Health Care System

VA Puget Sound Health Care System provides Veterans 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 10 locations in Western Washington, serving a 14-county area around Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest. Facilities include our Seattle and American Lake campuses, seven outpatient clinics in Edmonds, Everett, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup, and Silverdale and two Community Resource & Referral Centers in Renton and Seattle for Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We also have a Mobile Medical Unit to support rural care needs.

To learn more about the services each location offers, visit the VA Puget Sound health services page.

VA Puget Sound has a reputation for excellence, innovation and extraordinary care for Veterans--our nation’s heroes. We strive to lead the nation in quality, efficiency and public service through our proven record of innovation and extraordinary care of Veterans.

VA Puget Sound is one of the leading health care systems serving Veterans in the VA Northwest Health Network. We’re an innovative care center within the Veterans Integrated Service Network 20 (VISN 20), which includes health care system in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Research and development

At VA Puget Sound's Seattle and American Lake campuses, 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. 

VA Puget Sound maintains the VA’s fourth-largest research and development program, reflecting our commitment to provide the highest-quality care to Veterans. Our patients have access to the latest pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic techniques. The quality of “routine” care is enriched by the personal commitment of staff to increase their professional capabilities and to actively contribute to the advancement of their fields.

Major research areas include: 

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and multiple blast exposures
  • Memory improvement and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and deployment health
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Substance abuse
  • Lower limb prosthetics
  • Genomics
  • Health services

Visit our list of centers of excellence and special emphasis programs

Teaching and learning

VA Puget Sound takes pride in our 70-year history of positive advancements and cutting-edge academic partnership and achievements that continue to improve health outcomes for the Veterans we care for. Our academic collaborations build on our passion to learn and power to heal.

In academic year 2021, VA Puget Sound trained over 1,900 health care professionals—from physicians, dentists and nurses to psychologists and social workers to highlight a few. Through its more than 130 active associated health, graduate medical and dental education and, nursing undergraduate, graduate, and research affiliations in Pacific Northwest and beyond, VA Puget Sound offers innovation and progressive training. And its collaborations with the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Institute for Biomedical and Clinical Research are integral to ongoing discoveries.

VA Puget Sound began partnering with the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1951, primarily in the fields of medical, dental, nursing, mental health and social work. These future professionals are the nation’s health care workforce pipeline who will go on to care for Veterans and other patients in urban and rural communities across the U.S.  

During the pandemic, VA facilities such as VA Puget Sound worked with medical schools, universities, and colleges across the country to utilize health professions trainees to care for Veterans virtually and in-person while completing their training requirements.  VA Puget Sound continues to advance health professions training by adding new rotations here with Madigan Army Medical Center and securing a new residency in Neurologic Physical Therapy.  The number of physician residents training across the VA increased by more than 2,000 and, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges, applications to medical schools have increased by 18 percent for the 2021 academic year.

Professional training in most major medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties is available, including residencies in:

  • Audiology
  • Speech pathology
  • Dietetics
  • Health services research and development
  • Radiology
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Recreation therapy
  • Psychology
  • Health information management
  • Information technology
  • Medical informatics
  • Dentistry

Fast facts

  • Each year, VA Puget Sound supports approximately 1 million outpatient visits, admits 4,700 inpatients, performs 4,100 surgeries and conducts 173,500 virtual care visits.
  • VA Puget Sound’s Women’s Health Program remains the largest in VISN 20 (the VA’s Northwest Network), with over 17,000 women Veterans (and growing!) enrolled for care.

  • VA Puget Sound maintains relationships with Veteran Service Organization (VSO) partners and brief VSO representatives on changes that affect Veterans’ care. Our Veterans Advisory Council meets quarterly and includes stakeholders from Veterans’ groups.
  • VA Puget Sound's Fisher House (Seattle campus) provides a cost-free “Home Away from Home” for Veterans, active-duty service members, their families and caregivers, while they are hospitalized or receiving care.  Guests have come from 48 states around the nation, and 14 countries around the globe.
  • VA Puget Sound launched VA Ventures June 2020 to develop innovative ideas and diffuse them nationally to provide superior care and the best health outcomes to our Veterans. VA Ventures' major focus areas are: (1) Health care product development using advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3D and bioprinting; and (2) Leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and immersive technologies as digital solutions to health care challenges.
  • VA Puget Sound provides inpatient blind rehabilitation for Veterans and active-duty service members with visual impairments from VA’s Northwest Network (VISN 20) and Montana.

Accreditations and achievements

Underscoring its commitment to safe, quality care, VA Puget Sound accreditation, includes:

  • The Joint Commission Gold Seal
  • ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence
  • American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Target:
  • Stroke Gold Plus and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll quality achievement awards
  • Commission on Cancer Care Accredited
  • CARF accredited programs:
  • Community Housing and Outreach Services
  • Community Reintegration Services (employment services)
  • Mental Health Intensive Case Management
  • Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Program (domiciliary)
    • Homeless Care
    • PTSD
    • Substance Abuse
    • Compensated Work Therapy/Transitional Residence
  • Pain Program
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center
  • Rehabilitation Care Services
    • Inpatient Rehabilitation
    • Amputation Specialty Program
    • Stroke Specialty Program
    • Blind Rehabilitation
  • Spinal Cord Injury Unit

Annual reports and newsletters

Annual reports

Newsletters

Important things to know at VA Puget Sound today

Helping you stay informed about programs and services that matter!  

  • CLOSURE OF AMERICAN LAKE BUILDING 61 UPDATE: We appreciate your continued understanding and patience as repairs will be ongoing. We anticipate a phased approach to re-occupy Building 61 as construction is completed. Until that time, care has been relocated as follows:
    • Building 5: Addiction Treatment Clinic and Pain Clinic
    • Building 6, 1st floor: Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
    • Building 7, 2nd floor: PTSD Outpatient Clinic and Clozapine Clinic
    • Building 81, Pharmacy: Methadone dispensing
    • Building 85, 2nd floor: Psychiatric Assessment and Clinical Center/Same Day Access and Mental Health Clinic
    • Building 85, 3rd floor: Neuropsychology
    • Building 148: Mental Health Intensive Case Management and the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center program
  • Questions about flu and COVID-19 vaccines? Call Vaccine Hotline, 1-800-329-8387, ext. 64040
  • Masks and visitation policy (January 12, 2024 update): Masks for visitors are optional except while visiting areas designated as high-risk.
    • Visitation Policy
      • Visitors who have pending COVID test results due to symptoms or exposure are asked to not come to the facility.
      • Visitors who are in quarantine or isolation, or who have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID in the last 14 days are also asked to stay home.
    • Emergency Room
      • One visitor is allowed at a time.
      • Children allowed on a case-by-case basis per Emergency Room leadership.
      • Visitors must be COVID-19 negative.
      • Visitors must remain in the treatment room.
    • Inpatient
      • No children under 18-years-old are allowed as visitors.
      • Visitation hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless prior arrangements are made with the unit Nurse Manager.

        Visitation outside of these hours will be approved on a case-by-case basis by the care team on site.

      • Visitation by multiple people per day is permitted, but no more than one visitor in the room at a time (visitors may wait in area waiting rooms, please do not congregate in the hallways).
      • Visitation is limited to two hours at a time, to allow the patient to rest and the care teams provide needed services.
      • Visitors will not be allowed to spend the night at the bedside unless prior arrangements are made with the unit Nurse Manager.
    • Outpatient
      • Children under 18-years-old are permitted as visitors.

        They must remain near their accompanying adult.

        Staff will not attend to visiting children nor can children be left alone during care visit.

      • Outpatient visitors are restricted to one person accompanying the veteran to an appointment if they require assistance or are needed to assist with mobility.
      • Visitors should please wait in designated waiting areas.
      • Veterans and visitors arriving for Same Day procedures that require a designated driver will check in as directed in their pre-procedure calls.
  • Service Animals are welcome at VA Puget Sound Health Care System. VHA Directive 1188, Animals on Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Property includes clarification that a service animal can only be a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks to assist a person with a disability. You can learn more about the latest updates to our service animal policy by reading Memorandum RI-014. And you can report any unsafe behaviors with any animals to VA Police Dispatch at 206-746-2899.
  • Save the date: Join us on March 15, 2024 from 3 to 7 p.m. at our American Lake Campus for music, food and a celebration of our Veterans to mark our first 50 patients admitted to our American Lake hospital on March 15, 1924.
  • Change to Shuttle Service: Beginning December 1, our Seattle/American Lake Shuttle pick-up/drop-off service at Seattle Campus will only be at the main entrance (not at South Entrance). American Lake service remains the same.
  • Centralized Vaccine Clinic pilot: VA Puget Sound will pilot a Centralized Vaccine Clinic Program Pilot in Seattle (Building 100) and American Lake (Building 81) from November 27 through May 31, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This will be for walk in and scheduled appointments. These vaccines will be offered: flu, COVID-19, shingles, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and pneumococcal. Veterans can get their vaccine as part of their regularly scheduled appointments in Primary and Specialty Care Clinics or make an appointment to get vaccine at the centralized clinic by dropping by the East Clinic in Seattle or Primary Care at American Lake. Patients cannot call the centralize scheduling phone number to take advantage of the Centralized Vaccine Clinic, again, just walk in or drop by the East Clinic in Seattle or Primary Care Clinic at American Lake.

    Veterans interested in RSV vaccines should talk to their primary care manager to see if getting one is right for them.

  • Compact Act: What you need to know: What does COMPACT Act, mean for Veterans? We want all Veterans and former service members to know that they can get free, emergency suicide care when they need it, no matter where they are. Below we break down what this means for you and your loved ones should you need emergent suicidal care.

    What is it?
    • Any Veteran – whether enrolled in VA or not – can go to a VA or non-VA emergency room for emergent suicidal care.
    • We strongly recommend Veterans in suicidal crisis call 911 or visit their nearest emergency room for expedited care. Veterans may go to a Wilmington VA community outpatient clinic however, our clinics are only open Monday – Friday during normal business hours.
    • VA will provide the treatment or cover the costs for treatment including transportation, inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days, and outpatient care for up to 90 days
    • Who is eligible for COMPACT Act related services? Regardless of VA enrollment status, COMPACT-eligible individuals are:  Does a Veteran need to be enrolled in the VA system to receive COMPACT-related emergency care when in an acute suicidal crisis? What information do Veterans need to provide to emergency department staff to let them know they are eligible for VA to pay for or provide their care? Does a community emergency department need an agreement with VA to be paid for COMPACT-related care?
      • Former members of the armed forces who were discharged or released from active duty after more than 24 months of active service under conditions other than dishonorable.
      • Former members of the armed forces, including reserve service members, who served more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation either directly or by operating an unmanned aerial vehicle from another location who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
      • Former members of the armed forces who were the victim of a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving in the armed forces.
      • No, any Veteran who was discharged from the armed forces with more than 24 months of active duty.
      • Any former active or reserve service member who served more than 100 days under a combat exclusion or in support of a contingency operation who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
      • Or any former member of the armed forces who was the victim of a physical assault of a sexual nature, a battery of a sexual nature, or sexual harassment while serving in the armed forces is eligible.
      • If a Veteran is enrolled in VA health care, they should let the emergency department staff know they receive their care from VA.
      • If a Veteran is not enrolled, they should tell the emergency department staff that they are not enrolled in VA healthcare, thus then allows the VA to still provide care to the Veteran regardless of his /her enrollment status.  But, then allows for proper eligibility for types of care to be provided for the Veteran according the COMPACT Act guidelines after being seen in a VA emergency department.
      • No. COMPACT ACT does not require an existing contract or agreement between VA and a community emergency department for VA to pay for authorized treatment and follow-on care. Veterans are encouraged to immediately seek care at the nearest emergency department during a medical or mental health emergency. During a suicidal crisis, time taken to find an “approved” community emergency department could endanger the Veteran.
  • Must file travel claims within 30 days: When the national emergency related to COVID ended, it brought back the 30-day requirement to file travel claims which had been on hiatus since the pandemic. To get started on your claim, visit access.va.gov and select the Veteran Travel Claim Entry icon. From there, you’ll be able log on using a DS-Logon Level 2 account, with a VA PIV card, with ID.me or with your My HealtheVet credentials. While you can still file a VA Form 10-3542 and drop if off at one of main campuses, filing online is encouraged as it is the fastest way to be reimbursed. When a Veteran files a paper claim, the Beneficiary Travel Team must manually load and process that claim in BTSSS for the Veteran.  This takes significantly longer to process this way, leading to substantial backlogs, increasing the wait time to be paid for all Veterans filing this way.  More information about VA travel pay reimbursement can be found here: VA Travel Pay Reimbursement | Veterans Affairs

    Instructions for using the Beneficiary Travel Self Service System

    Sign in with your existing Login.gov, ID.me, DS Logon, or My HealtheVet account. If you don’t have any of these accounts, you can create a free Login.gov or ID.me account now - VA Travel Pay Reimbursement | Veterans Affairs
  • Toxic Exposure Legislation | PACT Act:  Want to know how the toxic exposure legislation will affect your benefits? What does it mean to have a presumptive condition for toxic exposure? Want to file a benefits claim?  Click here for our PACT Act Quick Guide, Call 800-698-2411 (TTY: 711) or visit https://www.va.gov/resources/the-pact-act-and-your-va-benefits/
  • Virtual Health Resource Centers:  VA Puget Sound recently opened Virtual Health Resource Centers to offer onsite technology experts to support Veterans, their family members and caregivers looking to take advantage of virtual care tools. These experts—available by phone, video and in-person—will provide guidance, hands-on support, training, help troubleshooting, and other information regarding virtual care tools, such as VA Video Connect, My HealtheVet, health apps, and devices such as smartphone and tablets.

    VHRCs will initially be at VA Puget Sound’s Silverdale (8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 360-307-2679) and Olympia (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 253-583-2621) Community Clinics on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday. Additionally, beginning in July, a monthly class will be offered at Olympia on the first Tuesday (July 6 first one). Walk-in support is available during VA Puget Sound’s Mobile Medical Unit visits to Chehalis every Wednesday (call Olympia Clinic at 253-583-2621 for more info).