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Department of Veterans Affairs offers Veterans the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the United States. We operate more than 1,400 sites of care, including 153 medical centers, 909 ambulatory and community-based outpatient clinics, 135 nursing homes, 232 Veterans centers, 47 readjustment counseling centers, and 108 comprehensive home-care programs, across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories.
More than 7.9 million Veterans, their family members, and survivors are enrolled in the VA health system, with more than 5.5 million seeking treatment each year. Currently, that annual treatment involves 773,600 inpatient visits and 60 million outpatient visits. About 250,000 full-time employees and 90,000 health professional trainees work in interdisciplinary care teams to deliver those patient services daily.
VA's patient population crosses a wide spectrum of individuals, from elderly World War II Veterans, to baby boomer Vietnam Vets, to today's younger heroes who served during the Gulf War era and in the present day Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. VA also serves a growing number of women Veterans, who currently account for seven percent of the total Veteran population.Additional areas influenced and or impacted by VA include:More than half of U.S. physicians and nurses have received some or all of their training through VA. Our facilities help train students from 107 medical schools, 55 dental schools, and more than 1,200 other health care schools.Studies have shown that patients in the VA health care system receive better care than private sector patients. And VA inpatients and outpatients are happier with the care they receive than those patients in the private sector. Our doctors and researchers have played key roles in the medical community by developing the cardiac pacemaker and the CT scan, performing the first successful liver transplant, and conducting research that has led to major improvements in the treatment of tuberculosis, schizophrenia, and high blood pressure. In fact, three Nobel Prize winners have worked for the VA health care system.More than 3.6 million Veterans and their survivors will receive VA disability compensation and pensions this year worth more than $32 billion.Last year, VA paid more than $2.4 billion in educational benefits to more than 490,000 people.The GI Bill is often referred to as the single most important piece of social legislation in American history, credited with creating the "middle class" in post-war America. Since 1944 when the GI Bill began, 21 million Veterans and surviving family members have taken advantage of the education program.We have helped 336,000 Veterans buy homes worth $44 billion last year through our home loan guaranty program. Since the end of WWII, VA has guaranteed more than 17 million home loans totaling more than $811 billion.VA manages 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico, in which more than 118,000 interments were conducted last year. In recent years, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) underwent the single largest expansion of its cemetery system since the Civil War. VA provides grants for construction of state Veterans cemeteries. With 60 state cemeteries in operation and two more under development, there is either a national or state Veterans cemetery in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam.We operate one of the largest life insurance programs in the Nation, administering nearly $729 billion in coverage for 2.8 million Veterans and armed service members, plus 3.1 million surviving spouses and children.VA is the only federal agency that provides direct assistance to the homeless.VA Locations
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