Within the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Office of Public Health brings a public health approach to protecting the health of Veterans and staff.
The mission of the Office of Public Health is to serve as the leader and authority in public health, a core element essential to VA’s ability to fulfill its mission to serve and honor the men and women who are America’s Veterans. Within VA, public health is the science and practice of promoting health and preventing disease among Veteran and VA staff populations. In this context, health can be affected by natural or human-made environments, present and past occupations, place in society, gender, and other social or individual characteristics.
Our mission is reflected in four pillars that uphold the ideals, initiatives, services, and programs within the office:
- Surveillance and epidemiology
- Underserved populations
- Disease prevention, risk reduction, and health promotion
- Public health policy and guidance
Read biographies of Public Health senior officials.
Here are the groups and centers within the office that cover a range of programs to protect and promote the health of Veterans and staff:
- The Post-Deployment Health group assesses the impact of environmental agents exposures, conducts environmental epidemiology studies, reviews the effects of radiation and physical exposures, and oversees the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center.
- The Clinical Public Health group addresses issues related to HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, seasonal influenza, tobacco and health, new and emerging infectious diseases, and surveillance and research.
- The Population Health group aggregates information on health care delivery, access, utilization, outcomes, and Veteran survey data to design interventions and strategies to improve Veterans’ health.
- The Occupational Health group addresses employee matters through the infrastructure of clinical occupational health, workers' compensation, and health promotion. The group manages health care hazards such as violence prevention, safe patient handling, and sharps exposures. This group includes the national Center for Occupational Health and Infection Control (COHIC).
- The Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center (VEMEC) identifies best practices to mitigate, prepare for and respond to national emergencies and natural disasters.