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About us

At the VA San Francisco Healthcare System, we’re dedicated to improving the lives of Veterans and their families every day.

About VA San Francisco Healthcare System 

The VA San Francisco Healthcare System provides you 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 7 locations in northern California. Facilities include our San Francisco VA Medical Center and 6 community-based outpatient clinics in Clearlake, Eureka, San Bruno, Santa Rosa, Ukiah, and downtown San Francisco. To learn more about the services each location offers, visit the VA San Francisco health services page.

The VA San Francisco Healthcare System is one of the leading health care systems serving Veterans in the Sierra Pacific VA Health Care Network. We’re an innovative care center within the Veterans Integrated Service Network 21 (VISN 21), which includes medical centers and clinics in California, Nevada, Hawaii, and other Pacific islands.

Learn more about VISN 21

Research and development

The San Francisco VA Medical Center has the largest funded research program in VA, with a budget of $81 million in 2019. We have more than 220 principal researchers and over 900 active research projects. We are partners with the Northern California Institute for Research and Education (NCIRE), which is a private, non-profit research organization that administers VA-approved research and related educational funding.

We are one of the few medical centers in the world that are equipped for studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy.

We are home to several special research programs and National Centers for Excellence:

  • San Francisco VA National Center for the Imaging of Neurological Diseases 
  • Million Veterans Program
  • San Francisco VA Center for Excellence in Primary Care Education 
  • San Francisco VA Epilepsy Center of Excellence
  • San Francisco VA Center for Infectious Diseases
  • National Center for Cardiac Surgery
  • National Center for Renal Dialysis
  • San Francisco Center of Excellence in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Center for Advanced Neurosurgical Operative Procedures 
  • Hepatitis C Research, Education and Clinical Center 
  • Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center
  • Western Pacemaker and AICD (automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillators) Surveillance
  • Women’s Comprehensive Health 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.  

Major research areas include: 

  • Advanced medical imaging
  • Aging and geriatrics
  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Breast cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes
  • Health services research, including big data
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hypertension
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Memory and dementia
  • Neuroscience of disease
  • Pain management
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Sleep disorders
  • Telemedicine
  • Traumatic brain injury

Teaching and learning

San Francisco VA Medical Center is a general medicine and surgery teaching hospital that provides a full range of health services for Veterans, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research. We offer 189 residency training and fellowships in many major medical specialties and subspecialties. We also train physician assistants and nurses and provide associated training to 700 health professionals in dozens of health professions. 
 
Our medical center is affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco. We’re proud of our partnerships with top institutions and organizations that support the educational mission of the VA.

Fast facts

  • The San Francisco VA Medical Center is a 1a complexity level facility that maintains 112 operating beds.
  • We have a 120-bed community living center (nursing home) that provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation care.
  • We have a partnership with the Department of Defense to study the neuroscience and neuroimaging of combat-related brain injuries and PTSD.
  • We were one of the first VA medical centers to perform MRI-guided deep brain stimulation surgery.
  • We are one of 7 VA medical centers recognized as a Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education.
  • We have been affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco, for nearly 60 years.

Accreditations and achievements 

Our facilities and programs have received accreditation from:

  • The Joint Commission
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • College of American Pathologists
  • American Association of Blood Banks
  • Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care
  • Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Programs
  • American College of Surgeons

The VA San Francisco Healthcare System received the following awards: