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In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) endured a high-profile scandal that broke the trust between Veterans and the VA. Veterans experienced long wait times to receive medical care and several died waiting for care. Investigations revealed wide-spread negligence and systemic manipulation of the scheduling system in an effort to meet access standards.


In order to make improvements, the agency began a journey to understand how Veterans experienced care. This project interviewed close to 100 Veterans across the U.S. to understand their first-hand experiences. 

This project explored:

  • How do veterans experience outpatient care?

  • What are the bright spots and pain points?

  • What are the most meaningful moments in the eyes of patients' and their families? 

Photos: Aaron Steinstra, Han Wang, Renee Anderson, Jaryn Miller, Jen Kaczor, Corinne Vizzacchero, Sarah Brooks,

Renee Anderson, Jane Newman, Jen Kaczor, Julia Kim, Gabrielle Kellner, Roseann Stempinski, Ana Monroe,

Veronica Vela, Eulani Labay

I lost my insurance. I didn’t know what was going to happen. When I woke up, there were doctors around my bed. They handed me a letter… it was from the VA and it said that the VA was ‘going to take care of one of their own.'

Veteran Patient & Former Marine

Seattle, WA

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