The Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System


The Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) is a combined neuropsychiatric, general medical, and surgical facility, with hospitals at Livermore,

Menlo Park, and Palo Alto, and clinics in San Jose, Stockton, Modesto, Capitola, and

Monterey. Training sites are available in four of these locations (Palo Alto, Menlo

Park, San Jose, and Livermore), with the great majority concentrated in two sites, the

Palo Alto Division and the Menlo Park Division. VA Palo Alto is part of a national network of hospitals and clinics operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide comprehensive health care to men and women who have served in the armed forces. This health care system is responding to many changes in the health care field and our training program changes in concert with the changing organization and emphases of health care. As of July, 1998 this health care system has about 3,000 employees, is located on more than 300 acres, and operates on a budget of more than

$280 million. This set of health care facilities operates 961 inpatient beds and over 50 primary care and specialty outpatient clinics, with almost 500,000 outpatient visits per year.

This medical center has a variety of specialized programs including behavioral medicine and health psychology services, geropsychological services, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care, homelessness, drug and alcohol treatment including dual diagnosis, treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injury rehabilitation including brain trauma, spinal cord injury treatment, and rehabilitation for visual impairment. Training opportunities are available with most of these programs. Resources available for consultation or other training possibilities include the Health

Services Research & Development Program, Rehabilitative Engineering Research and

Development Center, the Clinical Psychopharmacology and Psychophysiology Laboratories, and the Sleep Research Laboratory.

Veterans Administration Palo Alto Health Care System: Residents rotate through the new, state-of-the-art Palo Alto VA Medical Center consisting of 205 medical-surgical beds and additional psychiatric beds. This facility is located approximately five miles from the Stanford University

Medical Center, and is home to a positron emission tomography (PET) unit as well as important programs in psychiatry, rehabilitation medicine, geriatrics and spinal cord rehabilitation. Neurology maintains an active outpatient clinic, an inpatient service and a consultation service. It also provides clinical neurophysiology and neuropathology services. The educational program is conducted by Stanford faculty and is fully integrated into the teaching program.

The Palo Alto VA Medical Center, located just a few miles from SUH, is

one of the largest referral centers in the VA system. A new acute care

hospital opened in 1997. It has 1264 beds, including 160 acute inpatient psychiatry beds.

It includes 60 internal medicine beds staffed by 4

medicine teams. As a referral hospital in the VA system, the Palo Alto VA

also provides housestaff with the opportunity to see both the common

diseases of the VA population and unusual tertiary care problems. At the

VA, housestaff provide the primary care for all ward, ER, and clinic