ALBANY — This year, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) commemorates 75 years of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Originally established in 1946 as the Department of Medicine & Surgery to care for Veterans returning from World War II, VHA has evolved to meet the unique challenges and care needs of Veterans from every era and at every stage of their lives.

VHA, represented by 152 Medical Centers and over 1,400 Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), has a long history that highlights its long-standing commitment to putting Veterans at the center of the care experience, recognizing its world-class mission-driven health care professionals and highlighting contributions to medical science.

“As we celebrate this historic milestone, we are presented with an opportunity to look back on Stratton VA’s contributions to Veteran health care as part of VHA’s 75-year history,” said Stratton VA Director Darlene DeLancey. “It is also a fitting occasion to recognize the extraordinary efforts of Stratton VA staff and volunteers, especially this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, a testament to our providing Veterans with efficient, quality health care.”

Opened in 1951, the Stratton VA has continued to make vast and wide-reaching contributions as part of VHA’s rich 75-year history to improve the health of Veterans and the entire nation by providing services and technologies that have changed the way health care providers across the country practice medicine.

Some of Stratton VA’s most notable contributions include:

The Stratton VA has been: recognized as a Top VA 1c Hospital nationwide, a “Top Performer” nationwide by Joint Commission, a recipient of the VA Secretary’s Award for outstanding Achievement in Service for Homeless Veterans, the VA Under Secretary for health’s Community Partnership Award w/ special recognition from the Secretary for highlighting excellent community partnerships to prevent suicide (Shark tank winner), Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Award, a Carey Award, a consistent leader in Healthcare Equality Index, Hammer Award and six Scissors Awards, among other notable accomplishments.

Stratton VA has many accomplishments of note including: chosen as one of 18 VA’s across the country to embark on the High Reliability Organization (HRO) journey and leading , the first healthcare facility in NY and one of 9 facilities nationwide to provide TeleStroke capabilities, leads in energy conservation efforts throughout VISN 2, our Research Center is home to the NIH/NIBIB-funded National Center for Adaptive Neurotechnologies (NCAN) which creates software, hardware, and protocols that support complex real-time interactions with the central nervous system, part of the Million Veteran Program (MVP), received funding from the Albany Research Institute that has funded two new pilot research studies on wound healing and the causes of a type of arthritis.

Hospital Compare, which shows hospital quality and performance data shows that the Stratton VA rates “Better than the Community” in quality overall including in Flu Vaccine, Mortality: COPD, Mortality: Heart Failure, Mortality: Pneumonia, Beta Blocker Treatment after Heart Attack, and Care Transition.

Many U.S. health care providers have received medical training at this facility since it opened. The skills and knowledge they learn from VHA are implemented in hospitals and clinics across the region and throughout the country.

VHA leading the nation in telehealth services, with Stratton VA increasing telehealth appointments during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic between January 1 and June 30, 2020 by 906%, surpassing 6,300 video visits.

For more information on Stratton VA’s accomplishments and future projects contact Peter Potter, Stratton VA Public Affairs, at For more information about VHA’s 75th anniversary, visit

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