VA’s Veterans Health Administration celebrates 75 years

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WEST PALM BEACH — This year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) commemorates 75 years of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Originally established in 1946 as the Department of Medicine & Surgery to care for Veterans returning from World War II, VHA has evolved to meet the unique challenges and care needs of veterans from every era and at every stage of their lives.

To mark this occasion, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has launched a campaign to highlight VHA’s long-standing commitment to putting Veterans at the center of the care experience, recognizing its world-class mission-driven health care professionals and highlighting contributions to medical science.

Throughout the year, the medical center will be honoring the department’s 75th year in service to veterans through digital media postings both internally and externally.

“As we celebrate this historic milestone, we are presented with an opportunity to look back on the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center’s contributions to Veteran health care as part of VHA’s 75-year history,” said Medical Center Director Cory P. Price. “It is also a fitting occasion to recognize the extraordinary efforts of the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center staff, especially this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, a testament to our providing Veterans with efficient, quality health care.”

During the past 26 years since the facility opened, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has made vast and wide-reaching contributions as part of VHA’s rich 75-year history to improve the health of veterans and the entire nation by providing services and technologies that have changed the way health care providers across the country practice medicine.

Some of West Palm Beach VA Medical Center’s most notable local contributions include:
• Nearly 4,400 U.S. health care providers have received medical training at this facility since it opened in 1995. The skills and knowledge they learn from VHA are implemented in hospitals and clinics across the country.
• VHA leading the nation in telehealth services, with approximately 27 percent of veterans using these services at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center and increasing telehealth by 1200 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• National recognition as a healthcare equality leader by the Human Rights Campaign. The medical center received the highest survey score of any medical facility in Palm Beach County.
• Establish the first stand-alone VA residential treatment facility for Veterans in South Florida.
• New Research Program has yielded studies to improve Veterans’ lives to include provision of new post-operative non-opioid treatment to reduce pain after knee replacement surgery; evaluation of the diagnostic performance of a COVID-19 assay to detect antibodies in blood specimens; expanding access protocols for convalescent plasma, and the evaluation of PK papyrus stents.

For more information on the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center’s accomplishments and future projects contact Kenita Tills, public affairs officer at kenita.tills@va.gov or 561-422-8607.

For more information about VHA’s 75th anniversary, visit https://www.va.gov/vha-history/.

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