Affiliation with VA is a “win-win” for Wake Forest School of Medicine

Wake Forest School of Medicine dean Edward Abraham, MD, is an internationally distinguished pulmonary medicine and critical care physician, as well as an accomplished scientist with continuous National Institutes of Health funding for more than 25 years. He has worked tirelessly to improve the working relationship between Wake medical students and VA staff at the VA Medical Center in nearby Salisbury.

“I’ve been affiliated, had affiliation with VA all of my career and it’s just been absolutely great for me and I’ve seen the benefit for every institution that I’ve been in, so being able to grow the relationship with the Salisbury VA since I’ve come to Wake Forest has been an absolute delight for me,” Abraham said.

Abraham is one of a number of VA and non-VA health-care leaders we interviewed in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the partnerships between the VA and the nation’s medical schools.

The celebration of the anniversary culminates on Jan. 30, the day in 1946 that Policy Memorandum #2 was issued to create long-term affiliations between VA and medical schools.

Affiliating with U.S. medical colleges was a key piece of the puzzle in building a health-care system that could care for the millions of Veterans coming home after World War II. The growth of these partnerships continues to train health-care providers to meet ever-increasing needs. Training doctors and nurses by the thousands and establishing research agreements with the nation’s medical schools has created the largest health-care training program in the United States.



Ken McKinnon

Ken McKinnon is the video team leader on VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He has a 45-year career in journalism and government service, 13 years with Florida newspapers, 10 as a press and communications director on Capitol Hill, and 22 with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. He is the proud son of a career Marine Master Sergeant who served in World War II and the Korean War.