About the Miami VA Healthcare System
The Miami VA Healthcare System, also known as Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, opened in 1968. The medical center serves thousands of veterans in Monroe, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties in Florida. The Miami VA Healthcare System provides both outpatient and inpatient medical care, including surgery for mesothelioma tumors.
The medical center partners with the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. While many of the staff at the cancer center teach at the university, the school allocates additional research opportunities compared to smaller VA locations. The VA hospital in Miami tends to see high volumes of patients, making access to routine health services more difficult than in other VA locations. Fortunately, the Miami VA system consists of several locations.
Health Services Offered at the Miami VA Healthcare System
Patients at the Miami VA Healthcare System have access to a variety of health services, support, and other assistance for veterans and their families in South Florida. The medical center offers primary care, mental health care, specialty care, and more.
Primary and Palliative Care
Primary care providers at the Miami VA Hospital provide routine and specialty services. Mesothelioma patients can access lab and blood work, mental health care, and other services related to cancer treatment. Filing for veterans benefits will cover most of these services.
The Miami VA Healthcare System offers palliative care to patients and their loved ones coping with terminal illnesses. Palliative care at the medical center works to manage pain and symptoms while providing comfort. Other services for patients with terminal illnesses provide emotional support, help with practical issues like funeral arrangements, education about the process, and bereavement care.
Treatment Options at Miami VA Healthcare System
If you’ve been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, the odds that your doctor will refer you to a specialist are pretty high. Mesothelioma, a disease that mostly affects veterans, can be treated with pain-reliving or life-extending drugs or procedures. The rarity of mesothelioma means only a few doctors around the United States have experience with it.
The risk for misdiagnosis of cancer is generally higher among mesothelioma cases. Doctors often suspect a form of lung cancer before mesothelioma.
Miami VA Healthcare System Medical Center Staff
In recent years, the VA hospital in Miami formed a strong leadership team dedicated to providing better care to the growing veteran population in Florida. Under the new leadership team, dedicated staff and specialists provide care for over 60,000 veterans in South Florida.
Mesothelioma or lung cancer patients eligible for VA benefits can access various treatment methods at the Miami medical center. Thoracic surgeon Dr. Dao Nguyen [/’nu.jɪn/], for example, treats eligible mesothelioma and lung cancer patients with surgery and/or targeted therapy. Dr. Nguyen partners with several Miami-area hospitals outside the VA system.
Cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar provides additional lung cancer and mesothelioma treatments using the most advanced technology and research. He offers minimally invasive treatments using robotics. Dr. Villamizar also directs the Lung Cancer Screening Clinic.
Miami VA Healthcare System Medical Center Locations
The VA hospital in Miami tends to see high volumes of patients, making access to routine care more difficult than in other VA locations. Fortunately, the Miami VA system consists of several locations.
The Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center
The Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center is the Miami VA system’s main campus and provides primary and specialty care. Specialists at the hospital assist patients in diagnosing, prognosis, and treating mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.
- 1201 Northwest 16th Street, Miami FL 33125
- Main Phone: 305-575-7000
Deerfield Beach VA Clinic
The Deerfield Beach VA Clinic is an outpatient treatment facility that provides primary and specialty care. Relevant health services offered at the clinic for mesothelioma patients include mental health care, palliative care, hospice care, and pathology. Mesothelioma patients may also benefit from the clinic’s nutrition and dietitian services.
- 2100 Southwest 10th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-7690
- Main Phone: 954-570-5572
Hollywood VA Clinic
The Hollywood VA Clinic is a small outpatient clinic in Hollywood, Florida that’s open during the week. The primary services provided at this clinic are often related to laboratory and pathology, behavioral health, and hearing loss issues.
- 3702 Washington Street, Suite 201, Hollywood, FL 33021-8283
- Main Phone: 954-986-1811
Homestead VA Clinic
The Homestead VA Clinic is a relatively small outpatient clinic offering primary and specialty services during the week. Veterans often make an appointment at the VA clinic to receive mental health care, laboratory services, or women’s health services.
- 950 Krome Avenue, Suite 401, Homestead, FL 33030-4443
- Main Phone: 305-248-0874
Key Largo VA Clinic
The Key Largo VA Clinic is a small outpatient clinic in the Florida Keys. The clinic operates during the week and typically provides mental health care and hearing loss services.
- 105662 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037-3010
- Main Phone: 305-451-0164
Miami Vet Center
Mesothelioma is a serious disease and requires extensive treatment, but some patients can benefit from services offered in a non-medical setting. For example, the Miami Vet Center is a small counseling center offering confidential help for veterans, service members, and their families.
Veterans experiencing the psychological effects of cancer or any other military-related issue can visit the vet center for counseling or referral services. Vet centers also serve as a space to form social connections and build support systems with people who may understand your situation.
- 8280 Northwest 27th Street, Miami, FL 33122-1902
- Main Phone: 305-718-3712
How Many VA Hospitals Are in Florida?
Even if you live in Florida, Miami may be hours away from you. That’s why the VA operates seven main medical centers across Florida: Bay Pines, Gainseville, Lake City, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. There are over 50 outpatient clinics and 25 vet centers statewide.
Less than 100 miles north of Miami, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center is an extensive treatment center that offers primary care, specialty care, and emergency services. Patients with cancer or other serious illnesses can also receive palliative and hospice care there.
Other options for VA health care within four hours of Miami include the Orlando VA Medical Center and the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. VA hospitals in Gainsville and Lake City are available but are located over 300 miles away from Miami and primarily serve North and Central Florida residents.
Related: West Los Angeles VA Medical Center
Other Health Risks For Veterans in Florida
Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water
Veterans who served between 1957 and 1987 on active duty at Camp Lejeune may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water. This was a well staffed Camp among veterans and could have housed and transported many veterans from Florida.
Burn Pit Smoke in Iraq and Afghanistan
Veterans who served overseas during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts might have come into contact with or been exposed to toxins via burn pits. The burning piles of garbage throughout Southwest Asia polluted the air with toxic materials, which are now being linked to cancer diagnoses.
Fort Ord Army Post Water Pollution
One of the most polluted spots in the United States, the Fort Ord army post in California, was the site of exposure to toxins in the drinking water. Millions of men and women called Fort Ord home between 1917 and 1994.
Filing With the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Florida
Filing with the VA in Florida can help veterans gain access to quality health care without having to worry about the cost. If you are a veteran or a family member of one in need of health care at the Miami VA Healthcare System, visit the Veterans Affairs website to see if you qualify for benefits.
Victims of asbestos exposure have won millions of dollars in compensation to help cover uncovered medical expenses and lost wages. Although filing an asbestos lawsuit in Miami cannot reverse a cancer diagnosis, victims have the opportunity to hold the responsible companies accountable while receiving help for pain and suffering.