Veterans Affairs

Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH
Chief, Medical Service, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System;
Vice Chair for VA Programs

"I have been on the faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine and the Ann Arbor VA for over 18 years now. I am honored to be able to take on this leadership role and to continue working with these talented faculty and staff creating a model academically-oriented VA healthcare system. Our nation’s Veterans deserve no less." - Dr. Sanjay Saint

In 2019, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) handled 654,748 outpatient encounters and 93,423 inpatient encounters. Through numerous quality improvement and patient safety initiatives, we continue to address the needs of veterans in a holistic manner. Many of these VAAAHS efforts are serving as models to improving patient care across the country.

Breaking Ground

In late April 2019, construction began on the first Fisher House in Michigan at VAAAHS. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 14, 2019 and it was officially completed and turned over to the VA on April 20, 2020. Once open, up to 16 families will be able to stay there free of charge on any given night, allowing them to be close to their loved ones at the most stressful time — during hospitalization at the VA Ann Arbor Medical Center. Veterans receiving outpatient care may also access lodging at the Fisher House as long as they bring a companion to stay with them. This 16-suite, 13,400-squarefoot “comfort home” will join 87 other Fisher Houses operating in the United States and Europe. It is expected to open in late spring 2020.

Expanding Our Reach

In September 2019, VAAAHS announced the location of a new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) on the border of Canton and Westland. Once built, the nearly 40,000-squarefoot clinic will serve Veterans in western Wayne County, and will allow for the full implementation of the Patient-Aligned Care Team model of care delivery, improving operational efficiencies and the Veteran experience. The new CBOC will provide primary care, and mental health, laboratory, pathology and imaging services to Veterans in a right-sized, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient health care facility serving over 14,000 Veterans. The clinic’s anticipated completion date is late 2021.

Awards & Recognition

During 2019, VA faculty members were making an impact on patient care, education, and research in many different ways. These are just a few of the highlights:

  • Jeff Curtis, MD, received the 2019 John B. Barnwell Award, the VA Clinical Science Research and Development’s highest honor, given for scientific contributions that change clinical practice for Veterans. A pulmonologist and critical care physician at the VAAAHS, he has dedicated his career to making fundamental contributions to the understanding of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung defense from bacterial pathogens. He has also mentored many early-career scientists and fostered the next generation of VA investigators.
  • Sarah Krein, PhD, RN, was honored with the 2019 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Brahmajee Nallamothu, MD, MPH, was appointed to serve on the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee.
  • Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc, chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine, was invited to be a member of the Annals of Internal Medicine Editorial Board.
  • Akbar K. Waljee, MD, MSc, AGAF, and Vineet Chopra, MD, MSc, were each honored with 2019 Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Awards by the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research.