VA’s Academic Mission Celebrates 75 Years


VA’s Academic Mission Celebrates 75 Years

Posted on 01.28.21

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) will observe its 75th anniversary on January 30, 2021. VA is proud to celebrate the important milestone of its academic mission in partnership with more than 1,800 academic affiliates across the country.

VA’s academic mission began in 1946 with the adoption of Policy Memorandum No. 2. This remarkable partnership between VA and its academic affiliates reaches back to the end of World War II. Following the allied victory, VA faced the imminent arrival of more than 100,000 new Veteran patients. With 98 mostly rural hospitals offering fewer than 84,000 beds and only 1,000 physicians, the agency confronted a crippling lack of resources. To meet this challenge, VA struck a landmark deal with medical schools to create a dynamic health care workforce of students, physician residents, and faculty who provide world-class care to Veterans while providing training to generations of future physicians.

The health care workforce transformation created through academic affiliations has enabled VA to be a driving force in health care and educational innovation. Since 1946, VA has worked with professional schools and programs across the country to care for the Nation’s Veterans while training the clinicians who go on to care for all Americans. Seventy-five years later, VA is now the backbone of the American medical system, providing training to nearly 70% of all U.S. physicians.

In August 2020, Aptive HTG began a partnership with OAA to promote the 75th anniversary and help:

  • Reinforce OAA’s brand awareness;
  • Improve VA’s ability to attract and retain high quality professional staff;
  • Build loyalty by expressing gratitude to the individuals and organizations who have been part of OAAs successes and growth;
  • Support the expansion of comprehensive recruitment and marketing materials;
  • Engage new audiences and stakeholders;
  • Attract media attention highlighting OAA’s contributions to Veteran health care and to America’s health care system as well as increase awareness of the exceptional programs OAA offers; and
  • Celebrate the past, while setting up a vision for the future.

VA invests over $1 billion annually to provide clinical education and training programs, averaging 120,000 students and residents every year, as part of its mission “to educate for VA and the Nation.” In 2020, nearly 118,000 health professions trainees received training in over 40 health professions at a VA health care facility through these academic partnerships. Today, VA is affiliated with 149 of 155 Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accredited allopathic medical schools and 37 out of 37 Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (CoCA)-accredited osteopathic medical schools. These institutions include many top medical schools, such as Harvard, Stanford, and University of California – San Francisco.

Find out more about VHA’s academic mission, anniversary, and Passion to Learn. Power to Heal. anniversary theme by watching this video and visiting the Office of Academic Affiliations’ recently updated website.


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