VA Central Iowa Health Care System

VA Central Iowa Health Care System


The VA Central Iowa Health Care System, located in Des Moines, is one of two state-operated facilities in Iowa that provides medical and mental health care. The center is one of the 143 (87.7 percent) of facilities offering outpatient treatment for those dealing with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. The center also provides residential treatment and services for homeless veterans.


The VA Central Iowa Health Care System incorporates specialized treatment for veterans dealing with co-occurring disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, grief, anger management, and other conditions.

An official document shows that the residential program uses evidence-based modalities like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and the Matrix Model. Clients have the option of attending on- and off-site 12-step meetings.

Veterans are expected to follow residential care with outpatient treatment, which includes early recovery skills development and support groups. Clients will attend individual and group therapy, and if needed, behavioral couples therapy. The level of outpatient care needed is determined through an assessment.

Both residential and outpatient treatment incorporate relapse prevention training.


There is currently no information provided by the facility regarding its living arrangements and related offerings.


The VA Central Iowa Health Care System employs peer support specialists, doctors, and nurses. Though no details regarding mental health staff credentialing is available, in Iowa, 144 (99.3 percent) facilities have continuing education requirements for staff.

Two alumni polled by to date about the staff’s level of support provided perfect five-star ratings. The sole loved one polled about the staff’s level of training and experience provided a rating of four out of five stars.


Two alumni surveyed by at this time of writing gave positive feedback. Both individuals gave perfect five-star ratings for the center’s cleanliness, leisure activities, visitor policy, and level of staff support.

Secondary review sites yielded positive feedback about the VA system as a whole, with individuals praising staff members and the high level of care. On Google, the center earned an average rating of 4.2 out of five stars based on 57 reviews, and on the facility’s Facebook page, (which it can manage) the center has a rating of 4.4 out of five stars based one 189 reviews. [1] [2]


The sole loved one polled by to date indicated that they’d recommend treatment at VA Central Iowa Health Care System. The anonymous loved one gave positive feedback, providing four out of five stars for ten out of 15 evaluated categories including counseling options, discharge policies, and treatment for co-occurring conditions. The individual wrote that while staff was a strength of the facility, the staff-to-client ratio was a weakness.


Though no current or former employees at the VA system have responded to a poll to date, the center received an average rating of 3.8 out of five stars on Indeed. [3]


Clients may be required to pay a copay for services at VA Central Iowa Health Care System. The VA’s website states that lack of insurance coverage does not determine if a client will be treated.


VA Central Iowa Health Care System Reviews

  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • Clean great staff location Number of people to staff was a bad ratio. The staff were very professional in going about the initial care and treatment schedules that were mentioned. Many people recommend this place for first care and continued treatment
  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • Not knowing what to expect from a treatment center I quickly learned just how much they cared for me. In my opinion no better treatment center for any veteran who is addicted to drugs, alcohol or may be dealing with PTSD.
  • Treatment Effectiveness
  • Accommodations & Amenities
  • Meals & Nutrition
  • The first time through rehab was 45 days long. I was counting how many days until I could get high again. The second time through rehab was almost 6 months. The more time getting rehab counseling the much much better chance you have to stay sober. I am very blessed, where my rehab cost to me was nothing in monetary terms, most rehab centers cost too much for the average person. The state run centers do not have the resources to keep one long enough to give one the tools they need to stay sober and be a productive member of society. Why is there no middle ground would be one of my questions.