About the Miami VA Healthcare System
Veterans with mesothelioma cancer have the right to seek treatment anywhere in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. The Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center is one of the top options for veterans in Florida.
The Miami VA Healthcare System serves Monroe, Broward and Miami-Dade counties in South Florida, home to hundreds of thousands of American veterans. The system operates 372 hospital beds, providing outpatient care, inpatient medical services, surgery and mental health services.
Since opening in 1968, the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center has become a key treatment center through its close partnership with the University of Miami.
Most of the VA center’s staff physicians are faculty members at UM’s Miller School of Medicine. Much of the rest of the ranks are filled by advanced UM medical students and doctors completing their residencies or subspecialty fellowships.
Because of this, the Miami VA medical center has a stronger research focus than most other VA facilities.
In addition, the community surrounding the health care system is committed to caring for the needs of military families.
For the past several years, Miami VA employees have “adopted” veterans and their families for the holidays. VA employees treat military families to a special meal and give them gifts out of gratitude for their service.
When veterans have to be hospitalized during treatment, the Fisher House Foundation provides free lodging for family members at a home near the medical center.
Mesothelioma Treatment at the Miami VA
Mesothelioma is rare compared to other forms of cancer. Seeking treatment from an experienced specialist is essential to living longer and better with this disease.
Despite its overall rarity, though, mesothelioma is much more common for veterans than it is for other Americans. This is because of the U.S. military’s extensive use of asbestos during the mid-20th century.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has responded by including mesothelioma specialists at a few of its key health care systems around the country.
The Miami VA’s Department of Surgery is affiliated with the Dewitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the UM School of Medicine. Thanks to this partnership, veterans can benefit from the expertise of board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons.
These surgeons have experience with complex chest procedures such as extrapleural pneumonectomy for pleural mesothelioma.
In particular, Dr. Dao Nguyen specializes in both surgery and targeted molecular therapy for mesothelioma. He leads laboratory research on mesothelioma at the renowned Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, also located in Miami.
Nguyen divides his time between Sylvester, Jackson Memorial Hospital and the Miami VA Healthcare System so he can serve as many members of the community as possible.
In March 2021, about 81% of veterans seeking care in Miami said they could get a specialty care appointment when they wanted on at the Miami VA Medical Center.
Other top VA treatment centers for mesothelioma include the healthcare systems in Boston, Los Angeles, Houston and Atlanta.