The United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for Veterans of any nation in the world, with roots that can be traced back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law that stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony.
Later, the Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the Revolutionary War, providing pensions to disabled soldiers. In the early days of the Republic, individual states and communities provided direct medical and hospital care to Veterans. In 1811, the federal government authorized the first domiciliary and medical facility for Veterans. Also in the 19th century, the nation's Veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits and pensions not only for Veterans, but for their widows and dependents.
MISSION: To fullfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honouring the men and women who are America's veterans. Core values describe an organization's culture and character and serve as the foundation for the way individuals in an organization interact with each other and with people outside of the organization.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Core Values and Characteristics apply across the entire VA enterprise. Today’s VHA--the largest of the three administrations that comprise VA--continues to meet Veterans’ changing medical, surgical and quality-of-life needs. New programs provide treatment for traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, suicide prevention, women Veterans and more. VA has opened outpatient clinics, and established telemedicine and other services to accommodate a diverse Veteran population, and continues to cultivate ongoing medical research and innovation to improve the lives of America’s patriots. VHA operates one of the largest health care systems in the world and provides training for a majority of America’s medical, nursing and allied health professionals. Roughly 60 percent of all medical residents obtain a portion of their training at VA hospitals; and VA medical research programs benefit society at-large. The VA health care system has grown from 54 hospitals in 1930, to include 152 hospitals, 800 community-based outpatient clinics, 126 nursing home care units.
The following is the list of scholars from VA Maryland Health Care System who contributed and/or serves as editors for one or more OMICS International journals and conferences