The VA Caribbean Healthcare System consists of the main medical center located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with satellite clinics located in Ponce, southern part of the Island, and Mayagüez, the western coast. There are Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) in St. Thomas and in St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands), Arecibo (northwest Puerto Rico), and Guayama (southeast Puerto Rico). The medical center includes multi-disciplinary ambulatory facilities, 348 authorized hospital beds, 12 blind rehabilitation beds and 120 nursing home beds. The Center services a population of approximately 150,883 veterans in Puerto Rico and in the U.S. Virgin Islands according to 2000 U.S. Census figures. In FY 2006 the VA Caribbean HCS registered 9,548 admissions, and treated 68,364 unique patients at all clinic areas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and providing 835,746 outpatient visits.
The VA Caribbean HCS as active affiliations with the four LCME accredited medical schools in Puerto Rico; University of Puerto Rico(UPR), Universidad Central del Caribe, Ponce School of Medicine, and San Juan Bautista Medical School. Over 900 trainees residents, interns, and students are trained at this facility each year. There are medical residents from 23 different specialties residency-training programs, seven of which are sponsored by the San Juan VA Medical Center. Has an institutional Accreditation Council Graduate Medical Education Council (ACGME) accreditation plus accreditation from the American Dental Association and the American Dietetics Association. Has training programs in Clinical Psychology and Primary Care Pharmacy. There are academic affiliations with nine different Nursing schools and also Dental, Pharmacy, Dietetics, Social Work, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Psychology, Laboratory, Radiography, Surgical, Cardiovascular Technology and Respiratory Therapy academic affiliations.
TYPE OF FACILITY
The VA Caribbean Healthcare System is a tertiary care facility. It is a teaching hospital, providing a full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and research. Comprehensive health care is provided through primary care, tertiary care, and long-term care in areas of medicine, surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, spinal cord injury, mental health, oncology, dentistry, geriatrics, and extended care. The VA Caribbean Healthcare System with all its clinics in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands are part of the VA Sunshine Heathcare Network, VISN 8.
The VA Caribbean Healthcare System has various specialized services that are unique in Puerto Rico. The facilities comprise programs such as: Open Heart Surgery, Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury, Nursing Home, Hospital Based Care, Day Treatment Center, Alcohol and Drug Dependence Treatment, a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder program, Pulmonary Function and an Immunology Evaluation Clinic for HIV positive patients, among others. This facility serves also as a Cancer Center. Compensation and pension examinations are performed at the SJVAMC. There is a Counseling program and Veteran Readjustment Counseling Centers located in San Juan, Arecibo, Ponce and in both, St. Thomas and St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The San Juan VA Medical Center is the largest federal medical facility in Puerto Rico and serves the entire Caribbean Basin. In military terms, and especially considering the volatility and proximity of Latin American countries such as Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, Puerto Rico has assumed increasing importance for the Department of Defense as a result of the departure of the United States from the Panama Canal Zone. The only military base with significant inpatient care facilities in the Caribbean is the Roosevelt Roads Naval hospital which operates approximately 40 acute care beds, about half of which are in OB/GYN and Pediatrics. Consequently, the San Juan VAMC has comprehensive VA/DOD sharing agreements with the Naval Hospital and with the U.S. Army Health Clinic in Ft. Buchanan, which has no inpatient facility. This latter agreement helps take care of regular Army, Reserve and National Guard components.