Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) in Houston, Texas is a teaching hospital that provides primary care for over 130,000 veterans. MEDVAMC is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine, home of the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at the Baylor Medicine Lung Institute. Learn why MEDVAMC is one of the top cancer treatment centers for military veterans diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.

About Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Approximately 4,000 health care professionals provide care through Michael E. DeBakey Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

For over 50 years, MEDVAMC has served veterans and trained healthcare professionals through its affiliate, Baylor College of Medicine.

As a member institution of the Texas Medical Center, most of MEDVAMC physicians are also faculty members of Baylor. Residents and medical students of Baylor College of Medicine participate in inpatient and outpatient care at MEDVAMC.

Did You Know?

MEDVAMC is one of the largest hospitals in the VA Health Care System. It has been affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine since 1949.

Because of its affiliation with Baylor, military veterans with mesothelioma can seek treatment at the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at the Baylor Medicine Lung Institute. The Center is recognized worldwide for its cutting-edge treatment of malignant mesothelioma.

For more information, including veterans support and how to locate top cancer treatment centers, get your Free Mesothelioma Guide. It has over 90 pages of comprehensive yet easy-to-understand information for mesothelioma patients and their families.

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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Location & Overview

Located at 2002 Holcombe Boulevard in Houston, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center was commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. The Center was approved as a 500-bed naval hospital on the corner of Old Spanish Trail and Almeda in Houston, TX.

Highlights of the Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center include:

  • 119-acre campus with 350 acute care beds
  • Rehabilitation pool and patio gardens
  • Outpatient clinics handling almost 1.4 million visits annually
  • 144 affiliation agreements with higher learning institutions in 19 states
  • Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) program
  • The Joint Commission accreditation
  • College of American Pathologists accreditation

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center Patient Experience

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center provides affordable medical care to veterans, prisoners of war, and active personnel in all branches of the military. MEDVAMC is part of the most significant national health care network, with 152 medical centers and 1,400 clinics across the country.

“At Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, our health care teams are deeply experienced and guided by the needs of Veterans, their families, and caregivers.”

- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

MEDVAMC employs a wide range of oncologists, radiologists, and surgical experts. It can offer veterans advanced mesothelioma care comparable to treatment provided by prestigious mesothelioma cancer centers in the private sector.

MEDVAMC is unique in that it focuses entirely on veterans. The whole team works together to ensure veterans’ physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs are looked after.

Mesothelioma Treatment at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Houston VA Healthcare System’s cancer center offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment to cancer patients. Additionally, MEDVAMC patients have access to the Mesothelioma Treatment Center at the Baylor Medicine Lung Institute, which is among the top mesothelioma cancer treatment centers in the nation.

Did You Know?

Approximately 30% of all mesothelioma cases involve veterans.

At MEDVAMC, veterans get life-extending mesothelioma treatments and may be selected to enroll in National Cancer Institute-sponsored mesothelioma clinical trials.

Mesothelioma treatment at MEDVAMC may involve the following specialists:

  • Medical oncologists
  • Surgical oncologists
  • Radiation oncologists
  • Palliative care physicians
  • Pathologists
  • Radiologists
  • Oncology nursing staff
  • Social workers and case managers
  • Psychologists
  • Dieticians
  • Cancer registrars
  • Outreach coordinators
  • Quality improvement specialists

Mesothelioma Doctors

The Mesothelioma Treatment Center includes specialists in thoracic surgery, critical care, oncology, radiation oncology, radiation, pathology, and pulmonary medicine.

The following specialists may see MEDVAMC mesothelioma patients:

  • Dr. Bryan Burt
  • Dr. Shawn Groth
  • Dr. Pavan Mukesh Jhaveri
  • Dr. Robert Taylor Ripley

Finding a mesothelioma specialist you are comfortable with is critical to your care. If you would like help in this process, connect with our Patient Advocates now. They are available 24/7 and can help answer your questions.

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Mesothelioma Treatment Options at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

Since each mesothelioma case is unique, the Mesothelioma Treatment Center team personalizes treatment for each patient. Treatment strategies may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and palliative procedures to improve quality of life.

The Mesothelioma Treatment Center also performs personalized genetic therapies by taking tumor tissue and blood samples to evaluate cancer. Based on the results, doctors may then encourage a multimodal therapeutic approach using more than one treatment type, providing customized treatment.

This recommendation requires an aggressive surgical resection in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It has shown promise in extending the survival of some patients at an early stage of the disease.

Surgery:

Two types of pleural mesothelioma surgeries can be performed:

Chemotherapy:

There are two ways chemotherapy can be administered:

  • Systemic Chemotherapy: Anticancer drugs are delivered either by mouth as a pill or by injection into a vein.
  • Intraoperative Chemotherapy: Anticancer drugs are delivered locally to the mesothelioma site, usually through a small tube straight into the thoracic or abdominal cavity.

Radiation:

There are two ways radiation can be administered:

  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT): Ensures the radiation beams are centered on the tumor before each treatment.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): Provides maximum delivery of radiation to the tumor and spares the healthy tissue nearby.
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VA Health Benefits for Patients at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

The Department of Veteran Affairs offers VA benefits to injured or ill veterans. Benefits go above strictly financial compensation and disability pensions. These benefits help all disabled veterans adjust to life in or outside the United States military after suffering service-related injuries and diseases.

Mesothelioma is one of many disabling conditions that the VA recognizes.

Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible for the following VA benefits:

  • Burial and memorial services
  • Disability pensions
  • Education and training
  • Home loans
  • Insurance policies
  • Mental health assistance
  • Personal health programs
  • Preventative healthcare services
  • Survivors benefits
  • Transition Assistance

While it may seem like an extensive process, filing for Veteran Affairs benefits is critical in helping reduce the financial burden that comes with mesothelioma treatment.

Connect with us today for help navigating the entire process, including:

  • Accessing veterans benefits
  • Exploring mesothelioma treatment options
  • Finding a mesothelioma specialist
  • Locating clinical trials

You are not alone. Mesothelioma Hope’s Patient Advocates have decades of combined experience helping mesothelioma patients, including military veterans.

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Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center directly.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 14 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

7 References
  1. History. Veterans Affairs. (2022, October 13). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.va.gov/houston-health-care/about-us/history/

  2. Lorraine D. Cornwell, M.D., FACS. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.bcm.edu/people-search/lorraine-cornwell-19834

  3. Mesothelioma. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/specialties/oncology/cancer-types/lung-cancer/mesothelioma

  4. Michael E. DeBakey Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center: VA Houston health care. Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.va.gov/houston-health-care/locations/michael-e-debakey-department-of-veterans-affairs-medical-center/

  5. Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Baylor College of Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.bcm.edu/about-us/affiliates/va-medical-center

  6. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (n.d.). VA Houston health care. VA Houston health care. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.va.gov/houston-health-care/

  7. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2018, January 19). Va.gov: Veterans Affairs. Types of Compensation. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://www.benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/types-compensation.asp

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