VITAL - Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership

VITAL logo - Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership


What is VITAL?

VITAL (Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership) is a new collaboration between VA Healthcare, local Colleges and Universities, and Student Veteran Groups. The goal is to help Student Veterans succeed in their academic and career goals. Vital uses the strategy of "Comprehensive Academic Fitness" to help Student Veterans maximize their performance in the classroom by developing mission readiness in all areas of life.

VITAL Helps Student Veterans With:

  • Enrolling in VA Health Benefits & Obtaining a VA Medical Exam
  • Screening & Treatment for Noise Exposure
  • Access to VA Medical Team for Muscle and/or Joint Injuries
  • Appointments with VA Health Staff for other Deployment Injuries
  • Information on Campus Resources
  • Managing Stress & Handling Relationship Issues
  • Learning about Community Resources for Veterans
  • Opportunities to Network with other Student Veterans

VITAL Staff at the University of South Alabama:

Sherry L. Bishop, LICSW, DCSW
Licensed Certified Social Worker

Office of Veteran Affairs
111 Student Services Drive
Academic Support Center, Suite 1345
Phone: (251) 460-6230

How to Enroll in VA Healthcare:

Apply by phone for VA Healthcare: (877) 222-VETS (8387)

Apply online at:

Bring your DD214 to the VITAL Office or the nearest VA Health Clinic:


4444 Demetropolis Rd 
Mobile, AL  36004
(888) 201-0110
(Toll Free)

100 Veterans Way
Eglin AFB, FL  32542
(866) 520-7359
(Toll Free)
790 Veterans Way
Pensacola, FL  32507
(866) 927-1420
(Toll Free)

101 Vernon Ave.
Bldg 387, Panama City, FL  32407
(888) 231-5047
(Toll Free)
400 Veterans Ave.
Biloxi, MS  39531
(800) 296-8872
(Toll Free

For More Information see:

Why Enroll in VA Health Care?


The VA goes BEYOND Health Care - we are aware of ALL programs that are available to you as a veteran in a one stop shop and can guide and assist you through many issues. We document where you have been deployed and things you may have been exposed to for future reference. For example, some diseases develop 30 years after exposure to Agent Orange.

Body armor, sand storms and miles in a vehicle can take a toll. Even if you feel fit, you should schedule a primary care appointment to ensure that your deployment does not have an adverse effect on your long-term health.

Upon exiting service, veterans sometimes report difficulties with memory, concentration, irritability, or the feeling that something has changed since deployment. This can run contrary to your educational goals. If you note any difficulties in these areas, VA staff can help. We are the experts on mental health treatment for veterans.

If you have recently returned from an active duty combat deployment, you have 5 years of FREE combat related Health Care. Many colleges require you to carry health insurance and will accept VA Health Care as "creditable coverage". Enrollment in the VA Health Care system also provides "creditable coverage" as required by some healthcare programs, including Medicare Part D, and in states requiring all individuals to carry health coverage. There is no cost to apply. Once enrolled, comprehensive healthcare services will be available when and where you need them. You should remain enrolled, even if you don't use VA for your healthcare. Complete Women's Health is available at the VA, to include pap smears, birth control and maternity care.

If you are considering or have filed a claim, questions may arise throughout the process. Our VA staff can help answer your questions. If you are not eligible to enroll at this time, VA will save your application and contact you if eligibility criteria change.

How to Enroll in VA Health Care:

Apply by phone for VA Health Care: (877) 222-VETS (8387)

Apply online at:

Stop by the nearest the nearest VA Health Clinic:


1504 Springhill Ave.
Mobile, AL 36004
(888) 201-0110
(Toll Free)

For More Information see: