The Salem VA Medical Center recently celebrated three-quarters of a century of service. Since being commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 as part of the then-recently formed Veterans Administration, the Salem VA has been providing health care to America’s Veterans ever since.
Following World War II in 1946, the VA established the Department of Medicine and Surgery – which later became the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). A deeper look at the numbers puts things in their proper context. In 1930, the VA health care system had only 54 hospitals. Today, more than 1,600 facilities exist, including 1,232 outpatient sites of care and 144 Medical Centers.
“For 75 years, Veterans have trusted VHA to meet their unique health care needs. VA’s world-class health care professionals and researchers have worked together to make sure that VA health care keeps up with the changing nature of service-related injuries and illnesses,” Salem VA Executive Director Dr. Rebecca Stackhouse said. “For thousands of Veterans in rural Southwest Virginia, the Salem VA Health Care System provides care for everything from cancer care, to mental health, rehabilitation and women’s health.”
Towards the end of 2020, Veterans and health care workers at the Salem VA Medical Center began receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Veterans Health Administration vaccinated its one-millionth Veteran.
“VA guidance encourages local flexibility to maximize COVID-19 vaccine access and efficiency and limit potential vaccine waste,” said Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Richard Stone, M.D. “In this limited supply phase, our COVID-19 vaccination strategy is balancing site-specific resources, facility needs,
vaccine availability and status of the pandemic locally, as well as strict storage, handling and transportation parameters of available vaccines.”
The Salem VAMC continues to reach out to Veterans who are eligible for the vaccination. Veterans who would like additional information can visit the VA vaccine’s webpage for the latest updates.
“We are encouraged by the number of Veterans we have been able to vaccinate so far and look forward to meeting VA’s goal of offering vaccines to all eligible Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated,” Stackhouse said.
The Salem VA Health Care System provides health care to more than 35,000 of America’s Heroes from World War II to today. In 2012, the agency was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This month, the Salem VA is encouraging others to embrace and participate in Women’s History Month.