One of the only VA medical centers equipped with a mesothelioma program, the Boston VA has some of the best treatment available for veterans with mesothelioma.

About the Boston VA

The VA Boston Healthcare System is not only one of the best places to get treated for mesothelioma in the VA, it’s one of the best in the country. The Boston VA has a full multidisciplinary team of mesothelioma specialists supported by the prestigious mesothelioma program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Why Should Veterans Choose the Boston VA?

  • Specialized Care

    Specialized Care

    Most VA hospitals aren’t equipped to handle mesothelioma patients. The Boston VA is a notable exception, with treatment and support for mesothelioma patients that rivals many private hospitals.

  • Dr. Lebenthal

    Dr. Avi Lebenthal

    Specialist Dr. Abraham “Avi” Lebenthal started the mesothelioma program at the Boston VA. Dr. Hassan Khalil, a mesothelioma specialist, assumed leadership in 2020.

  • Collaboration


    The Boston VA benefits from a close proximity to some of the best mesothelioma treatment centers in the country. Doctors collaborate with, and often work at, the nearby Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Get Connected to the Boston VA

Get Connected to the Boston VA - Form Image
Our VA-accredited claims agent, retired Navy LCDR Carl Jewett, has helped hundreds of veterans get the care they need. He can help you find treatment within the VA health care system and even in filing for benefits.

Why Choose the VA Boston Health Care System?
  • The program is headed by mesothelioma specialist Dr. Avi Lebenthal
  • One of the only VA hospitals with a mesothelioma program
  • Use your VA health care for top mesothelioma treatment

Dr. Hassan Khalil

Unlike most VA health care systems and hospitals, the Boston VA has a fully equipped mesothelioma program. It was started in 2010 by respected specialist Dr. Avi Lebenthal. Dr. Hassan Khalil assumed leadership in 2020.

Dr. Khalil joined the Brigham and Women’s Hospital team that same year. His official title is associate surgeon in the thoracic surgery division.

He received his medical degree from the University of Texas, after which he completed a general surgery residency at UCLA. He began his career at Brigham and Women’s with two fellowships: one in minimally invasive thoracic surgery and another in cardiothoracic surgery.

For veterans using the VA health care system, finding a mesothelioma specialist can be difficult. Many veterans don’t realize that general oncologists within the VA aren’t experienced in treating mesothelioma.

The Boston VA is rare in this regard because mesothelioma is part of Dr. Khalil’s clinical focus. So he will use his knowledge and experience from helping patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to help veterans through the Boston VA Health Care System.

Getting Treatment Through the Boston VA

The primary benefit of receiving treatment through the Boston VA, other than their stellar mesothelioma program, is that veterans with mesothelioma may get free treatment.

The VA has a long-standing policy of providing free treatment to veterans with a disability rating of 50 percent or higher and for conditions that are labeled “service-related.”

Veterans with mesothelioma often developed the disease as a result of service-related asbestos exposure, which fills the criteria for health care compensation. Even if a veteran can’t link their exposure to military service, mesothelioma usually generates a 100 percent disability rating.

Before mesothelioma patients can get treatment in the VA health care system, they have to enroll, which requires information such as:

  • Certificate of Discharge from Active Duty
  • Employment information
  • Personal financial information
  • Basic info regarding their spouse and dependents

Finding and getting care from a specialist in the VA can be frustrating and difficult, but there are people who can help simplify the enrollment process, getting you the treatment you deserve. Our patient advocates can get you started through our free Doctor Match program.

VA Benefits in Addition to Health Care

In addition to VA health care, veterans with mesothelioma are also entitled to benefits to compensate them for a service-related condition. These benefits, along with health care from the Boston VA, ensure veterans can remain financially secure. Veterans with mesothelioma are often eligible for:

  • Full disability compensation
  • Survivor benefits for spouses and dependents
  • Housing and pension benefits

With the help of our VA-accredited claims agent, veterans with mesothelioma can get all the assistance they need to successfully file for these benefits. If you’re a veteran with mesothelioma, start your claims process today by getting connected with retired Navy LCDR Carl Jewett.