Tuskegee Veterans Administration Hospital
As veterans returned home after World War I, a grateful nation showed its appreciation for their sacrifice and service by providing Veterans Administration hospitals all over the country. However, many black soldiers, especially in the south, could not be admitted to a Veterans Administration hospital. And if they were, they were admitted to inferior facilities. The Harding administration, heeding a public outcry from organizations like the N.A.A.C.P. and the National Medical Association for better treatment for black soldiers, was determined to build a Veterans Hospital in the south. Tuskegee Institute agreed to donate 300 acres to the government to build the proposed hospital. It was dedicated on February 12, 1923, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and featured Vice President Calvin Coolidge as the keynote speaker. Veterans Administration Hospital, Tuskegee, is now called Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. The Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) was established January 1, 1997, from the merger of the Montgomery and Tuskegee VA Medical Centers, which includes community-based outpatient clinics in Dothan, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia. These four CAVHCS sites serve 134,000 veterans in 43 counties in the central and southeastern portions of Alabama and western Georgia.