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Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

VA, AAMC Affiliates Convene at First Academic Affiliations Advisory Meeting

February 24, 2012—The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Academic Affiliations Council (NAAC) held its first meeting Feb. 8-9 in Washington, D.C.  The NAAC serves to advise VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki on matters affecting partnerships between the VA and its academic affiliates. AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., serves on the council alongside representatives of health professions affiliates and AAMC institutions [see Washington Highlights, Nov. 18, 2011].

VA Under Secretary for Health Robert Petzel, M.D., provided opening remarks and spoke to the importance of the VA’s academic partners in caring for veterans, as well as the VA’s role in training health care providers.  He also spoke about the VA’s strong commitment to team-based and patient-centered care.  Regarding the VA’s budget, Dr. Petzel said that the VA received a 7.2 percent increase for FY 2012, and expected a small, but positive, increase for FY 2013. 

NAAC Chair and former AAMC President Jordan J. Cohen, M.D., singled-out five duties of the council:

  • Fostering the development of unique new models for VA-affiliate relationships;
  • Developing a statement of values to guide the VA’s relationship with the academic community;
  • Developing performance standards/metrics for VA’s academic mission and affiliation management;
  • Identifying and addressing impediments to optimizing these relationships; and
  • Identifying and recommending infrastructure needed to realize fully and advance VA’s academic mission.

The council was briefed on the preceding work of the Blue Ribbon Panel on VA-Medical School Affiliations. Other presentations featured a review of current VA transformational educational initiatives such as the Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education and the VA Nursing Academy. 

The second day of the NAAC deliberations focused on reviewing the function of VA education offices and affiliation management activities.  The council was extremely supportive of the VA’s continued leadership in transformative models of health professions education, and signaled a strong desire to reform academic partnership councils (dean’s committees) to be both interprofessional and inclusive.

The next meeting of the NAAC is expected to take place this spring or summer.  The NAAC charter, membership, and meeting minutes can be found on the VA Office of Academic Affiliations website.

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org