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W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center - Salisbury, NC


Rural Health Integration Program

     Salisbury's W.G. (Bill) Hefner VAMC Rural Health Integration Program strives to increase healthcare access and health education for Veterans. Our goal is to make sure all Veterans in our 24-county catchment area are informed about all the VA benefits they may be eligible for, especially health care.  The team wants to ensure that Veterans have access to information about personal health issues, affording each Veteran an opportunity to take an active part in their personal health planning.

Our Rural Health Integration team commits to:

  • Improving health care for Veterans in rural areas through eligibility identification, effective communication of benefits available and providing application assistance for enrolling the VA healthcare system.
  • Establishing partnerships with local health care providers and community leaders to ensure Veterans receive all the benefits available to them.
  • Increasing Veterans access to VHA support services through the use of electronic media.

VA Health Care Enrollment

     The Salisbury Rural Health Integration Program (RHIP) provides personalized health care enrollment assistance. Because many Veterans are unaware of their eligibility status for VA Health Care, the RHIP attends local Veteran centered events, Veteran Organizational meetings, community events, and other venues focused on education and partnership in the rural communities.  Attendance at these meetings provides a great opportunity for the community to learn about VA and VHA services.  Additionally, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and National Cemetery Administration (NCA) attend these events bringing a wealth of information about all VA services.  For Veterans who do complete the application, Rural Health tracks them through the enrollment process and makes sure they are well informed about how the process works.

     Health eligibility criteria has evolved over time and recent changes have made many more Veterans eligible who might not have been eligible for health care just a few years ago. Veterans who meet one of the following criteria are eligible for VA health care:

  • Purple Heart, Medal of Honor Recipients or Prisoners of War.
  • Vietnam Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975.
  • Gulf War Veterans who served in the Southwest Asia Theater of operations from August 2, 1990, through November 11, 1998. 
  • OEF/OIF/OND Combat Veterans receive 5 years of health care after active duty discharge. (Iraq/Afghanistan)
  • Veterans with service connected disabilities.
  • Many other Veterans qualify based on income and other criteria.

You can also download a 1010EZ form to apply for VA health care through the following link:

Once the form is complete mail it to:
Attn: Rural Health Integration Program (11R)
1601 Brenner Ave.
Salisbury, NC 28144

     Keep in mind that when you send in your packet you should include a copy of your discharge papers or DD214 and a copy of your VA disability benefit award letter if you have received one.

VA Health Care Education

     Rural Health Nurse Educators ensure Veterans are informed about how to live a healthier lifestyle and how to prevent or control chronic health issues. Nurse Educators provide classes on a number of chronic diseases such as: Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Obesity and Weight Management, Healthier Life Styles, Smoking cessation, and Hands-Only CPR to Veterans and Caregivers.  Nurse educators provide individual "Ask-A-Nurse" opportunities in addition to extended group classes on these same chronic diseases.  These classes provide the Veteran with an opportunity to take an active part in their personal health planning.  Rural Health Nurses offer free flu shots clinics for enrolled and newly registered Veterans. 

     If you are interested in having a Rural Health Nurse Educator provide health education or disease prevention services in your area, please give us a call at (704) 638-9000 Ext 4937/4315.

VA Health Care - what to expect?

     After a Veteran has completed the administrative portion of the VA health care enrollment process, they must complete an initial examination before they are completely enrolled in the VA system. Beginning in the fall of 2013, Rural Health is rolling out a new program that will take the initial examination process to facilities in the communities where Veterans live.

     The initial examination is a comprehensive baseline physical that establishes a health history and baseline view of a Veteran's health. After the initial examination, patients will be assigned to a primary care patient aligned care team (PACT) at one of four clinic locations of the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center.   These four locations are in Salisbury, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Hickory.

For more information on the Rural Health Initiative contact:

  • Edwina Gray-Wright, Rural Health Program Integration Manager, at (704) 638-9000 ext. 4960/4958

Upcoming Rural Health events are listed on our Events Calendar.  

Learn more about the VA's Rural Health Program.

Contact Info


  • 1601 Brenner Ave.
    Building 11A
    Salisbury, NC 28144

Contact Number(s)

  • 704-638-9000 Ext. 4958/4960

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Friday
    7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.