Veteran Affairs Council


Being a Veterans Affairs (VA) physiatrist means embracing the “I CARE” culture of core values: integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect and excellence. Every day, you demonstrate dedication to our mission to serve Veterans who have experienced a wide spectrum of physical and emotional challenges. Helping them through their struggle is our collective triumph. At the VA, we have access to some of the most advanced technologies, can participate in cutting-edge research and education, and, most importantly, are uplifting America’s greatest heroes.

Whatever your motivation is for working for the VA, you need support and resources just like your patients.

There are many reasons why VA physiatrists like us belong to Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP). You may already be taking advantage of the AAP's community and resources. If not, here's how we think you could benefit.

  • Access to the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, a leading medical journal in the field
  • Networking with other VA physiatrists at the AAP’s Annual Meeting and through the AAP’s VA Council
  • Programs and mentorship opportunities to advance your career
  • Year-round connection to leaders and rising stars with weekly e-newsletters and the quarterly member magazine

Are you an AAP member who works with the VA? Let us know so you can connect and share best practices year-round on the VA Council's new listserv!

Meet VA Physiatrists at the AAP's Annual Meeting

VA physiatrists come together at the AAP's Annual Meeting every year for camaraderie, idea sharing and learning in sessions like these:

  • Regenerative Rehabilitation: Exploring New Frontiers
  • Rehabilitation Care of Medically Complex Patients
  • Amputation Rehabilitation Around the World
  • Actigraphy in Acute TBI Polytrauma: The James A Haley VA Experience
  • The NIH Research Plan on Rehabilitation

Save the date for Physiatry '21, the AAP's 2021 Annual Meeting, taking place virtually in February 2021!


VA/ DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines: This treasure trove of guidelines covers many health conditions co-authored by VA physiatrists - from back pain management and amputee care to TBI and much more.

VHA Innovation Ecosystem: The VHA Innovation Ecosystem is the catalyst for enabling the discovery and spread of mission-driven health care innovation to advance care delivery and service that exceeds expectations, restores hope, and builds trust within the Veteran community.

AAP Mentoring Program: This member-only program is your place to foster growth, perspective, collaboration and friendship outside of PM&R conferences. You can sign up as a mentor, mentee or both!

AJPM&R: Stay on top of the latest research in the field by reading the AAP's official medical journal, the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Connect & Collaborate

Active AAP members who work with the Department of Veterans Affairs can share best practices, ask questions and and stay connected via the AAP's VA listserv. Email the AAP if you would like to be added to the Google Group or are have problems receiving or sending messages.

Your VA Council Leadership

Dixie Aragaki, MD


Nandita Keole, MD

Vice Chair

Alice Hon, MD


Thiru Annaswamy, MD

Past Chair


Dixie Aragaki, MD

AAP Member Since 2004

Dixie is the Residency Program Director for the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System and a Professor at David Geffen Medical School at UCLA.


Nandita Keole, MD

AAP Member Since 2017

Nandita is the Residency Program Director of HonorHealth and PM&R Service Chief at the Phoenix VA Healthcare System.


Alice Hon, MD

AAP Member Since 2009

Alice is an Attending Physiatrist at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System.


Thiru Annaswamy, MD

AAP Member Since 1996

Thiru is a Professor at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and a full-time staff physician and section chief in the PM&R Service at the North Texas VA Healthcare System/ Dallas VA Medical Center.