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Comprehensive Assessment of Respiratory and other military Exposures (CARE) Center

Our Comprehensive Assessment of Respiratory and other military Exposures (CARE) Center provides specialized care for conditions established under the 2022 PACT Act. The PACT Act is the largest expansion of VA benefits and extends VA health care eligibility to Veterans who were exposed to chemical, physical and environmental hazards while serving.

How It Works

The CARE Center offers a multidisciplinary team of health care specialists to address any questions or concerns you may have about respiratory and other military service exposures. The CARE Center provides comprehensive assessment for veterans with toxic exposures, collaborates with the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center and offers an opportunity for veterans with toxic exposure to be enrolled in relevant research.  

If you believe you were exposed to toxins while serving in the military and are already enrolled in VA health care, your VA primary care provider can provide a toxic exposure screening and refer you to the CARE Center for a consultation. Call 202-745-8577 to schedule a toxic exposure screening with your VA primary care provider. If you are not yet enrolled in VA health care, click here to learn how you can apply online, by phone or by mail.

Getting to the CARE Center

The CARE Center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located in building 14 (Clinical Research Building) on the Washington DC VA Medical Center campus. To reach the CARE Center:

  1. Use the south entrance to the medical center campus

  2. Take the first left you come to and notify the security guard on duty that you have an appointment at the CARE Center

  3. Take the first right into the parking lot in front of building 14

  4. Once parked, let the CARE Center team know you have arrived by calling 202-745-8000, ext. 55865

A medical center map with detailed instructions is available to view or download below. 

Meet the Team

Official VA Portrait of Washington DC VA Medical Center Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Dr. Joel Nations, M.D.

Joel Nations MD

Interim CARE Center Medical Director

VA Washington DC health care

Phone: 202-745-8000, ext. 55865

Email: joel.nations@va.gov

Bernice King NP

Toxic Exposure Navigator

VA Washington DC health care

Phone: 202-745-8000, ext. 55865

Email: bernice.king@va.gov

Ashley Jack PA-C

Program Manager

VA Washington DC health care

Email: ashley.jack@va.gov

Gola Reed

Gola Reed

Environmental Coordinator

VA Washington DC health care

Phone: 202-745-8000, ext. 57360

Email: gola.reed@va.gov

Yndia Wilkerson

Yndia Wilkerson

Environmental Coordinator

VA Washington DC health care

Phone: 202-745-8000, ext. 55680

Email: yndia.wilkerson@va.gov

Additional PACT Act Information

Under the PACT Act, many health conditions are now considered presumptive, meaning you do not need to prove your condition was caused by exposure if you served in a specific area during an established period of time. Visit the links below to learn more about toxic exposure locations and toxic exposure screening.

Toxic Exposure Locations

Toxic Exposure Screening

PACT Act Education Resources

PACT Act Benefits Flyer outlines the PACT Act and your VA benefits. Learn how to schedule an appointment and get your questions answered with VA and Veteran service organizations in your community.

The Environmental Health Registry Evaluation tool provides information about the six health registries offered by VA, including their focus, who can join, and where to learn more.

War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) is an educational resource for combat Veterans, their family members and loved ones, and Veteran health care providers. Find educational programs  on topics ranging from environmental exposures and deployment health conditions to self management techniques for chronic health concerns.