If you are in the Geriatric field in the US thank the VA for creating geriatrics and geriatric research in the US.
In the early 1970s, leadership of the VA Department of Medicine and Surgery (the forerunner of VHA) began to plan for challenges they expected to face as the 13 million living World War II veterans aged into their seventies. “Geriatric medicine,” or care of the elderly, was at that time a recognized medical specialty in the UK, but had little to no presence in the U.S.
VA leaders undertook a bold prescientmove in 1975, designating six VA sites with existing “geriatric and gerontology” research programs–collaborations with their affiliated medical schools that focused on aging and its accompanying health challenges — as Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers (GRECCs). They took the added charge and used their resources to put their findings to use in developing new approaches for caring for those of advanced age and disability; to teach the existing VA clinical workforce about those approaches; and to develop a new cadre of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to become leaders in geriatric care. Congress endorsed this plan in 1980, authorizing up to fifteen such centers; in 1986 they expanded the authorization to 25. Since 1999, VA has supported twenty GRECCs. They literally gave us the field of aging in the US.