Explore the rich heritage of the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center.
The nation’s first domiciliary and medical center for Veterans was authorized by the Federal government in 1811. A new system of Veterans benefits was formed when the US entered World War I in 1917, and on July 21, 1930, the Veterans Administration was established.
Today the Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. providing care at 1,321 health care facilities, including 172 medical centers, 1,138 outpatient clinics to over 9 million Veterans.
Originally part of Fort Walla Walla, which dates back to the early 1800s, land was transferred to the then U.S. Veterans Bureau in 1921 for a hospital in the Walla Walla area.
- The first 2 patients were accepted on May 10, 1922; was originally designated as a tuberculosis facility.
- The facility was designated a medical and surgical hospital in 1959; surgical services closed in the mid 1990s; the community living center closed in 2008; currently a primary care outpatient facility.
- The facility was renamed Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medial Center November 11, 1996, in honor of Jonathan M. Wainwright IV, a Walla Walla native son and war hero.
- Wainwright was born on Fort Walla Walla grounds August 23, 1883; he was a WWII POW in Manchuria, China from 1942 to 1945 and was liberated August 16, 1945, just 6 days before his birthday.
- Wainwright received numerous medals, including the Medal of Honor September 10, 1945, which was presented to him by President Harry S. Truman.
Today, the Jonathan M. Wainwright VA proudly serves Veterans at its 7 clinic sites spanning 16 counties and 3 states.