UCLA, VA launch first-of-its-kind family wellness center, new legal clinic for veterans

Civic Engagement

The expanded UCLA–VA partnership aims to fill gaps in care, especially by going beyond the superficial symptoms of the challenges veterans face and treating the problems at their roots.

The new family wellness center is the first facility on a VA campus to offer resilience services for veterans’ families. UCLA staff provides parenting classes, caregiver support and other training to meet the unique needs of military families. At the legal clinic, professors and students from the UCLA School of Law help veterans address tickets and access their health and education benefits. Both opened in August on the West L.A. VA campus.

“UCLA and the VA have a powerful partnership spanning 70 years,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Working with the VA to help serve veterans continues to be one of our signature objectives and a key part of our mission of teaching, research and service. By collaborating to build these three centers and embed them into the fabric of the VA campus, we’re expanding and strengthening our ability to give veterans the care they deserve.”

Guests at the formal launch of the new UCLA-VA centers, from left: Tess Banko, director, UCLA VA Veteran Family Wellness Center; Matt Collier, VA special advisor; Rep. Ted Lieu; Steve Young, deputy undersecretary for health for operations and management, Department of Veterans Affairs; Chancellor Block; Ann Brown, director, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System; Jonathan Varat, chief UCLA liaison to Veterans Affairs; and Patricia Lester, UCLA professor and director, Nathanson Family Resilience Center.

Read more on UCLA Newsroom.