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VA to Create Three Mental Health Centers of Excellence
December 8, 2005

Secretary Nicholson: Locations Will Enhance World-Class Care for Veterans

WASHINGTON – Citing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) continued commitment to providing veterans with world-class health care, Secretary R. James Nicholson today announced that three locations – Waco, Texas; San Diego and Canandaigua, NY – have been designated special centers of excellence devoted to advancing research and enhancing care for mental health issues that affect some American veterans.

The new centers, established under legislation introduced by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and passed by Congress during the recent budget-making process, will provide a concentration of expertise on mental health issues.

“The designation of these new ‘Centers of Excellence’ builds upon VA’s long history of accomplishment in medical care and research to improve the lives of veterans,” said Nicholson. “VA is committed to treating the ‘whole’ veteran, and an important part of the care we provide our heroes is to ensure that they get the best treatment available to help them recover from any mental health issues – in addition to any physical medical treatment they may require.”

VA currently operates other centers of excellence that study a variety of issues affecting veterans, ranging from aging and Parkinson's disease, to spinal cord injury, brain rehabilitation, and vision and hearing loss.