The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), located within the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA), is responsible for providing a wide range of medical services to 5.5 million veterans across the US. Operating one of the largest networks of health care facilities in the nation, VHA has undergone considerable restructuring of its medical delivery system after years of complaints of inadequately treating veterans’ health care concerns. Although the VHA has been credited with significant improvements in helping veterans receive quality care, controversies have continued to occur, including poor treatment leading to deaths.
The Veterans Health Administration, located within the Department of Veterans' Affairs, is responsible for providing a wide range of medical services to 5.5 million veterans across the US. The VHA operates one of the largest networks of health care facilities in the nation that includes 171 medical centers, 340 outpatient clinics, 127 nursing home care units and 196 Vietnam Veterans Outreach Centers. In addition, the VHA helps support veterans' health care in non-VA hospitals and is the country’s largest provider of graduate medical education.
Effect of the Transformation of the Veterans Affairs Health Care System on the Quality of Care (by Ashish K. Jha, Jonathan B. Perlin, Kenneth W. Kizer and R. Adams Dudley, New England Journal of Medicine)
(by Hal Bernton, Seattle Times)
A career employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Michael Walcoff has served as Acting Under Secretary for Benefits since January 4, 2010, and, according to some VA observers, could become the permanent head of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), a position that has been vacant since February 2008, The last Under Secretary, George W. Bush appointee Daniel Cooper, infuriated many veterans when, at a time that the backlog of disability claims was mushrooming to 400,000, appeared in a religious fundraising video stating that Bible study was “more important than doing the job—the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not."
On November 17, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Dr. Robert A. (Randy) Petzel to be Under Secretary for Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Petzel was officially sworn in by Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki on April 23, 2010, taking over the leadership of the Veterans Health Administration, which provides medical care to all veterans and runs VA hospitals throughout the country.