by Mary Dillinger, Public Affairs Officer, NAVAHCS

The Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) has been serving veterans in the community since 1918. Prior to that, it was a U.S. Army Post, Fort Whipple, activated since 1864. There is so much history here on our beautiful campus as well as within the City of Prescott. 

Prescott existed before Arizona was even established as one of the 50 states. In 1864, Prescott was designated as the capital of Arizona, and before then, Fort Whipple was the temporary capital of Arizona. Prescott is named after historian William H. Prescott. 

Prescott is the home of the brave Granite Mountain Hotshots, the elite firefighters from the Prescott Fire Department. There is even a movie about their courage and sacrifice called “The Brave.”

Prescott is a great place to live and work, and it is full of history. Wyatt Earp’s older brother Virgil even lived in Prescott in 1879. Several movies have been filmed in the beautiful City of Prescott and even at the VA Medical Center. 

From 1918 to 1930, the medical center was known as the U.S. Veterans Bureau Hospital #20. It served as a tuberculosis care and treatment facility for veterans. There is a beautiful historical wall in building 108. 

It explains the history of NAVAHCS, VA history, information about the outlining clinics throughout Northern Arizona and much,  much more. 

The wall is inside the Miracle Mile hallway. It was given this name when veterans were being treated for tuberculosis. If during their treatment they made it to that hallway, it was considered a miracle.

NAVAHCS was named a Historical District in 1999. Over 70 percent of the buildings on campus are on the registry. So much history in one place, and the VA has even found a  way to modernize the medical center and  its grounds while still preserving the history. 

NAVAHCS serves over 28,000 veterans covering over 65,000 square miles of North- ern Arizona. Approximately two-thirds of the enrolled veterans are from the Vietnam era. The 50th anniversary commemoration lapel pin is presented to Vietnam era veterans by the leadership and staff at the VA. 

NAVAHCS has been honoring Vietnam era veterans with 50th anniversary items for over six years. 2012 marked the beginning of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The 50th anniversary commemoration items will be presented to Vietnam era veterans until the year 2025 to commemorate the full 13+ years of the Vietnam War. 

There are many projects underway at the VA to improve access and quality of care for our nation’s heroes. There will be a new laboratory and outpatient pharmacy by the end of 2018, as well as many other projects such as the new sterile processing service and rehab building. 

You can visit the Sharlot Hall Museum and learn about the history of Prescott, or you can visit the Fort Whipple Museum at the Prescott VA. It is a free museum that is located in building 11 on the VA campus. It is open Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.    

To apply for a position or if you have any questions please contact (928) 717-7587 or visit prescott.va.gov.