Policy Brief: Veterans’ Health Care In Rural Virginia


The Commonwealth of Virginia is home to an estimated 748,3451 military veterans, ranging in age from centenarian, pre‐World War II veterans, to teenage veterans recently returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). These veterans are faced with wide‐ranging and complex health needs, which are further complicated if they live in rural regions of the Commonwealth. Research and study undertaken by the Virginia Rural Health Association (VRHA) and the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program (VWWP) identify major veteran health care issues such as the inclusiveness and accessibility of health care, coordination of health care services, the availability of health care services in a veteran’s community, and the cultural competency of health care providers serving veterans. A primary challenge facing Virginia’s program and policy leaders is how to leverage state, federal, and local resources to meet the health care needs of all Virginia veterans.