Skip to Content

75 years of academic partnerships


January 29, 2021

Seattle , WA — VA Puget Sound celebrates 75 years of academic partnerships to improve the health of Veterans and the nation

VA Puget Sound Health Care System announced today as part of its 75th anniversary commemoration of academic affiliations that it trains an average of 1,700 health care professionals annually—from physicians and nurses to social workers and psychologists. Through its more than 150 active associated health, graduate medical education, nursing undergraduate, graduate and research affiliations in Pacific Northwest and beyond, VA Puget Sound offers innovation and progressive training. And its collaborations with 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.  

The commemoration is part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) overall 75th anniversary celebration of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) occurring throughout 2021.

“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,” said VA Puget Sound Director Michael Tadych. “We look forward to continuing our collaborations that build on our passion to learn and power to heal.”

During the pandemic, VA has worked with medical schools and programs across the country to utilize health professions trainees to care for Veterans virtually and in-person while completing their training requirements. The number of physician residents training in VA over the past year 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 upcoming 2021 academic year.

VA Puget Sound’s recent and continuing participation in COVID-19 response efforts include leading the nation in telehealth services through increasing encounters by almost 600 percent in Fiscal Year 2020 (from 13,742 to 94,620) as compared to the prior year. It was selected as one of the first 37 VA sites to provide COVID-19 vaccines.  To-date, it has administered more than 7,000 vaccines to Veterans and VA Puget Sound staff. Additionally, VA Puget Sound broadened its 3D Printing program to include the creation of face masks, shields and other personal protective equipment to meet demand, demonstrating the unique benefits its partnerships provide to not only Veterans, but the broader communities.

VA’s academic mission began in 1946 with the adoption of Policy Memorandum No. 2, establishing a remarkable partnership between VA and its academic affiliates. Seventy-five years later, VA provides training to nearly 70percent of all U.S. physicians. Approximately 120,000 health professions trainees help care for more than 9 million Veterans at clinical sites around the country.

Affiliated with more than 1,800 academic institutions including 97 percent of America’s medical schools, VA trains future health professionals in over 40 disciplines including physicians, psychologists, nurses, pharmacists and social workers.

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to more than 155,000 Veterans enrolled across the Pacific Northwest. As the VA’s 5th largest research program, VA Puget Sound has research in virtually every major clinical department, including: TBI and multiple blast exposures; memory improvement and Alzheimer's Disease; PTSD and deployment health; Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes; cancer; substance abuse; lower limb prosthetics; genomics; and Health Services. Additionally, it has seven nationally recognized Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). For more information visit

For more information about VHA’s 75th anniversary, click here. For more information about academic affiliates, visit VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) website. For details on anniversary activities, go to the OAA 75th anniversary webpage.

For more information about VA Puget Sound’s academic affiliates program and anniversary events, contact Tami Begasse at

Media contacts

Tami Begasse, Public Affairs Officer


See all news releases