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Round VII Announcement of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs GME Enhancement Under VACAA

VA Facilities Must Submit Applications by May 8, 2020

AACOM is pleased to notify the osteopathic medical education (OME) community of an important opportunity to expand graduate medical education (GME) positions, as authorized by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (VACAA) (P.L. 113-146), through collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Administered by the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA), the Request for Proposal (RFP) seeks applications from VA facilities that want to expand their current GME programs or affiliations and those that do not currently have a GME program. The resident positions awarded in this round will be eligible for training during academic year (AY) 2021-2022, which begins July 1, 2021. Facilities with current temporary positions that receive VACAA approval may begin in AY 2020-2021.

Important note: VA facilities must be affiliated with an accredited physician resident training program, and more information regarding the affiliation is described in the RFP. Members of the OME community that are interested in partnering with the VA are encouraged to thoroughly review the RFP and the OAA website, then contact the OAA officials listed below for more information. All formal applications submitted by the VA facility are due by May 8, 2020.

AACOM continues to strongly support the expansion and sustainability of GME positions at the VA created by VACAA. The intent of this announcement is to work to enhance the number of osteopathic affiliations with the VA and to increase GME positions. AACOM will continue to partner with the OAA to inform and engage the OME community and its GME partners on this important initiative.


Authorized in 2014 and subsequently revised in 2016, VACAA directed the VA to affiliate with new medical residency programs or to ensure existing GME programs have an adequate number of residency positions by adding a total of 1,500 medical residency positions over 10 years, through 2024.

The current RFP is the seventh phase of implementation and will build on the more than 1,000 positions already awarded. VACAA targets residency positions in primary care, mental health, and in certain defined geographic and high need areas.

Importantly, this round is limited to 150 position awards. Priority will be given:

  1. to those facilities requesting primary care or mental health positions;
  2. positions to complete VACAA expansion projects started in previous RFPs.
  3. rural locations; and
  4. Critical needs requests and will require access documentation to be competitive.

The VA will also prioritize health professional shortage areas as defined by the Office of Rural Health, and according to the RFP, there is a particular interest in affiliations with Indian Health Service and Tribal locations, along with partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

VA OAA Points of Contact

To learn more about this opportunity and how to coordinate with your local VA facility, please contact the designated OAA leads for the VACAA GME Enhancement RFP:

Edward Bope, MD, at Edward.Bope@va.gov 

Anthony Albanese, MD, at Anthony.Albanese@va.gov 

Pete Flauto, MS, BSN at Peter.Flauto@va.gov

Kathleen A. Klink, MD at Kathleen.Klink@va.gov

AACOM will continue to collaborate with the OAA to facilitate the dissemination of information and resources on VACAA GME. For details about AACOM’s activities on this issue or to request assistance connecting with the VA, please visit AACOM’s VA GME webpage or email VA_GME@aacom.org.