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Learn what the PACT Act means for your VA benefits

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


Important things to know at VA Puget Sound today

Helping you stay informed about programs and services that matter!

  • Next PACT Act deadline: Health care enrollment for Veterans deployed to combat zones:  Until 11:59 p.m. Sept. 30, 2023, Veterans who deployed to a combat zone, never enrolled in VA health care and left the military between Sept. 11, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2013, are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care through the PACT Act. This special enrollment period gives Veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat zones an opportunity to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for disability compensation benefits. 

    VA encourages all of these Veterans to visit or call 1-800-MYVA411 to learn more and sign up for VA health care before the deadline. Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care are proven to have better health outcomes than non-enrolled Veterans, and VA hospitals have dramatically outperformed non-VA hospitals in overall quality ratings and patient satisfaction ratings. Additionally, VA health care is often more affordable than non-VA health care for Veterans.

  • VA Puget Sound Health Care System Veterans Art Gallery Grand Opening: Our Veterans Art Gallery recognizes the creative achievements and self-expression of our local Veteran artists. The featured artwork has been created by Veterans we serve to support their health and well-being and help them to live healthier and happier lives—something we call Whole Health. Join us for our grand opening event and open house:

    September 27, 2023
    Seattle Campus (Building 101, 1st Floor)
    10 a.m. – Opening Ceremony
    10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Open House

  • Free flu shots coming to a VA near you in October!
    VA Main Campuses
    American Lake (drive-thru) & Seattle (walk-in, Building 101)
    October 2 – 28, Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.
    (excluding October 9 federal holiday)
    Flu shots will also be available during scheduled primary and specialty care appointments.
    VA Community Outpatient Clinics
    Call clinic location for flu shot dates and hours of operation.
    Community Care Flu Shot Options
    Eligible Veterans can receive a free flu shot from one of our community partners. Visit for an in-network location.
    Questions about flu and COVID-19 vaccines? Call Vaccine Hotline, 1-800-329-8387, ext. 64040

  • Traffic/parking update at American Lake: Significant traffic changes at American Lake began July 17 and remain on track.  We opened the back half the new lot and new surrounding road and closed the front half. Handicap parking remains open at the front. Veterans and visitors can call our Patient Escorts at 253-583-1999 for a ride from the back parking area to your care site Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. We also have volunteers driving the parking lot shuttle carts in case they spot a Veteran who may need a lift. The shuttle is a 100% volunteer-run service. In times when we have no volunteers, the service is unfortunately unavailable.

    We hope to complete the new parking area by the end of this year. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as this supports our new American Lake Specialty Care Building (201) expected to open in 2028.
  • 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 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 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

  • Effective June 6, wearing face masks will be optional while visiting VA Puget Sound facilities, except for those who have COVID or flu symptoms or are in designated high-risk areas such as our Community Living Centers, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Oncology/Chemotherapy Units, Critical Care Units, Spinal Cord Injury Unit, Acute Inpatient Units, and our Emergency Department. Signs will appear at the entrances of the high-risk areas, and everyone will be required to place medical grade masks on before entering. Masks are available for those without one. Please respect those who choose to continue to wear masks in areas where they are not required, as we still strongly encourage their use. Thank you!
  • Visitation Policy
      • All visitors must always wear a medical grade mask at our facilities, except in Masks Optional designated zones (if you don’t have one, we will provide you with one).
      • Visitors who have pending COVID test results due to symptom 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
        • 1 visitor at a time.
        • Children allowed on a case-by-case basis per Emergency Room leadership.
        • Must be COVID-19 negative.
        • Must remain in the treatment room.
      • Inpatient
        • No children under 18-years-old.
        • Visitation hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. unless prior arrangements are made with the unit Nurse Manager. If outside general business hours visitation 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 permitted. They must remain near their accompanying adult.  Staff will not attend to visiting children nor can they 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.
        • 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.
  • 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).
  • Vaccines: COVID-19 bivalent booster shots vaccines are available as part of regularly scheduled primary and specialty care appointments. Please contact your primary care provider for more information.