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VA Puget Sound Health Care System


American Lake offers unique programs, services

The American Lake Division, VA Puget Sound Health Care System

The American Lake Division, VA Puget Sound Health Care System

By Jeremy Croft, VA Puget Sound Public Affairs Office
Friday, December 14, 2018

SEATTLE, Wash. – Dec. 14, 2018 – There’s something new going on at the American Lake Division of VA Puget Sound Health Care System. VA Puget Sound recently expanded its leadership team to include a new position of associate director, which is embedded at its American Lake location where more than 1,000 staff care for approximately 300,000 Veterans each year. 

“This dedicated position reinforces the importance of the care provided at our American Lake campus,” said Simon Kim, Ph.D., who was selected for the position.

“We want each Veteran we care for, and the staff who care for them, to know how important they are, whether they are in Seattle, Tacoma, or one of our seven Community-Based Outpatient Clinics,” said Kim.

Kim, a clinical psychologist for the last 10 years, previously served as assistant director in Seattle, responsible for a diverse collection of service areas including compensation and pension, emergency management, environmental management, Fisher House, health informatics and information management, logistics, nutrition and food service and prosthetics. Kim’s position will retain oversight of these service areas, with an added focus on American Lake’s comprehensive suite of programs and services.

The historic American Lake campus boasts a pristine and convenient location for Veterans who live south of the Seattle area, and an idyllic, peaceful setting on the shores of American Lake. In addition, the campus is a comprehensive medical center featuring primary and specialty care, mental health, social work and vision care services.

American Lake offers urgent care, almost 30 primary care providers (four in women’s health) and 130 interdisciplinary practitioners in mental health. The Community Living Center, built in 2010, offers more than 80 Veterans residential care every year. American Lake is the home of a 64-bed domiciliary that serves VA Puget Sound’s residential programs in mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse rehabilitation and pain medicine.

The VA Functional Restoration Program, which allows Veterans to receive focused, residential care for their most complex chronic pain issues, is housed at the domiciliary. In addition, there are five training programs exclusively housed at American Lake—in optometry, psychology, social work, blind rehabilitation and nursing—that collaborate with universities across the nation to train the clinical professionals of the future.

American Lake is proud to be one of only a handful of VA facilities in the nation to offer child care to outpatient Veterans through the Child Care Center. The campus also features the on-site Veterans’ Sweat Lodge, which provides an option for Veterans seeking spiritual healing grounded in Native American traditions.

The leadership presence will be a crucial factor in coming years, since American Lake has already begun a process of improving several facilities on the campus. The improvements include seismic modernization to some of the historic buildings; a resurfaced parking lot that will more efficiently route foot and vehicle traffic; and a new building that will house the outpatient surgery, laboratory and pharmacy departments, and other specialty care services.

To accommodate an improved phone system that will transfer calls more efficiently between campuses and foster greater access to leadership at American Lake for our Veterans and employees, a new phone number for the American Lake Executive Office has been established: (253) 583-3500.

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to more than 110,000 Veterans across its nine facilities in the Pacific Northwest. It has the 5th largest research program within the national VA system and seven Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). More than 2,000 individuals participate in its undergraduate and graduate training programs each year. For more information visit


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