A new affiliation between UNCW and the Fayetteville VA Medical Center opens the door for students, researchers and VA staff to work collaboratively. The agreement, signed Monday, is a collaboration that aims to improve health care for veterans.
UNCW students will now get access to experience in the field of veterans’ health care. In return, the VA receives greater access to research and teaching opportunities. Betty Goolsby, director of the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, says of the 60,000 veterans served in the region, one-third live between Jacksonville and Wilmington. And the affiliation is critically important as this population continues to grow.
“So having this affiliation with UNC Wilmington is going to offer the students an opportunity to work with America’s heroes here at the healthcare center, as well as present to them the opportunity and the thought that when they finish their academic programs, the VA is a desirable employer either here in Wilmington or at one of the 152 medical centers across the country.”
Goolsby says last year, the Fayetteville VA experienced growth by 8 percent, while the national average was 1 percent. The Fayetteville VA is affiliated with 65 other colleges and universities. Almost 1400 graduate and undergraduate students are enrolled in the College of Health and Human Services.