Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center

Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center


The Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center is a component of the Veterans’ Affairs Pacific Islands Health Care System. Situated six miles northwest of central Honolulu, the center offers primary medical care as well as inpatient and outpatient treatment for a wide range of mental and behavioral health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and addictive behaviors. Dedicated services are also available for veterans in the LGBTQ community, women veterans, and veterans experiencing homelessness.


The Spark M. Matsunaga Center strives to deliver comprehensive care for individuals grappling with mental and behavioral health disorders. This encompasses intake, assessment, and diagnosis, as well as treatment and aftercare. The objective of treatment is to rehabilitate clients and enable them to function at their optimal level within the community.

The center does not provide detailed information about its treatment methods on its website. However, a former patient surveyed by reported receiving medication to assist with withdrawal from their substance of choice, as well as round-the-clock staff availability. The patient also suggested that the center could improve its holistic and exercise offerings.

In addition, the Handbook of Military Social Work states that the most common approach to addiction treatment within the VA is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), accompanied by education and support. According to the same source, most VA medical centers offer short detoxification programs on both inpatient and outpatient bases, with outpatient care typically provided once weekly in the form of group counseling sessions lasting one or two hours. The handbook also highlights the VA’s commitment to evaluating veterans seeking addiction treatment for any co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD or depression, and providing treatment for those disorders alongside support in areas such as spirituality, sexual dysfunction, employment, and education. This comprehensive treatment approach aims to address potential causes of relapse. Finally, the handbook notes that many VA medical centers offer intensive outpatient (IOP) programs that require 20-30 hours of attendance per week. It is unclear from the Spark M. Matsunaga Center’s website whether the facility offers such a program.


The mental health department employs both generalist and specialist teams, although their specific credentials are not currently available. The solitary former patient surveyed by awarded the Spark M. Matsunaga Center a five-star rating for the staff’s level of training and experience.


The Spark M. Matsunaga Center is housed within a large medical facility located on an expansive VA campus. The center does not provide further details about its living conditions and amenities on its website. However, the sole former patient surveyed by rated the center five stars for cleanliness, accommodations, and meals/nutrition, as well as four stars for exercise and leisure offerings.


The solitary former patient surveyed by highly recommends treatment at the Spark M. Matsunaga Center. They mentioned round-the-clock availability of doctors and expressed satisfaction with the medications and face-to-face interaction with staff. While they felt that the program was solid, they noted a lack of extracurricular activities. They awarded the facility five stars for family participation and the ability to treat co-occurring disorders, four stars for treatment effectiveness, and three stars for holistic offerings and counseling options. They also mentioned a scarcity of exercise areas.

No specific commentary on the mental health and addiction provisions at the Matsunaga Center could be found on secondary sites. However, overall feedback about the hospital was mixed, with an average rating of 2.9 stars based on 14 reviews on Facebook, and an average rating of 3.7 stars based on 15 reviews on Google. Negative reviews frequently mentioned frustration with the center’s administrative practices, particularly difficulties in making appointments and receiving call-backs. Positive reviewers often praised the center’s doctors and compared it favorably to other VA medical centers. One enthusiastic reviewer on Facebook stated, “I’ve been going to this facility for almost 5 years and my experience here is excellent. I love my doctors, they make sure that I am doing good and receiving the best care I need. Thank you for your service!!!”


Clients without service-related disabilities or other qualifications may be required to provide income details, potentially leading to a co-payment requirement. However, the sole former patient surveyed by received free treatment at the Spark M. Matsunaga Center and rated its affordability five out of five stars.

In 2014, local news network khon2 reported that Hawaii’s VA Medical Center had undergone a scathing audit, revealing that new patients had to wait 145 days for an appointment — the longest wait time in the nation, according to the New York Post. The center’s representatives acknowledged the challenges regarding wait times and expressed a commitment to improving efficiency. As of the end of June 2016, the Spark M. Matsunaga Center had a two-star rating, as reported by USA Today.

Services provided by Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center

Service Setting

  • Outpatient
  • Intensive Outpatient
  • Outpatient Detox
  • Type of Care

  • Detox
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Treatment Approaches

  • Anger Management
  • Brief Intervention
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Contingency Managementmotivational Incentives
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Martix Model
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Trauma-related Counseling
  • Detoxification

  • Alcohol Detoxification
  • Benzodiazepines Detoxification
  • Cocaine Detoxification
  • Opioid Detoxification
  • License/Certification/Accreditation

  • The Joint Commission
  • Payment/Insurance/Funding Accepted

  • Medicare
  • Payment Assistance
  • Genders Accepted

  • Male
  • Female
  • Spark M. Matsunaga VA Medical Center Reviews

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • you had a choice of face-to-face if needed, all your medications were there, the treatment facility was free to US Vets exercise areas were not plentiful Once a person decides its time to kick their addiction, this is the right place. There are doctors on call 24hrs a day.