VA Boston Healthcare System

1400 VFW Parkway Building T89, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, 02132

The Boston VA Medical Center is part of VA Boston Healthcare System, which provides medical care to veterans. Mesothelioma is treated with a full team of medical experts, including a surgeon.

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Pleural Mesothelioma

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West Roxbury VA Medical Center

1400 VFW Parkway Building T89

West Roxbury, Massachusetts

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Dr. Hassan Khalil

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More Information About the VA Boston Healthcare System

The VA Boston Healthcare System, a network for veterans seeking medical care, utilizes the resources and staff of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is one of the premier cancer centers in the world. Dr. Hassan Khalil, a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, runs the mesothelioma treatment program at the Boston VA Medical Center, also called the West Roxbury VA Medical Center.

Dr. Khalil primarily sees mesothelioma patients at the West Roxbury campus of the VA Boston Healthcare System. His experience with thoracic malignancies means he’s primarily a pleural mesothelioma specialist. This rare cancer forms in the narrow space between the lungs and chest wall.

Dr. Khalil assumed leadership of the Boston VA’s mesothelioma program in 2020. Dr. Abraham “Avi” Lebenthal started the initiative in 2010 to provide veterans with care and support rivaling the best cancer centers in the country.

“My predecessor, Dr. Avi Lebenthal, did a great job starting the program,” Dr. Khalil said. “We have patients, veterans, who follow up at the VA after having undergone surgery. I think these patients should continue to get excellent care. I’ve worked with many of them already.”

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Experienced Mesothelioma Specialists

    • Dr. Hassan Khalil, thoracic surgeon
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    • Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    • ​​Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
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Treatment Specialties

    • Extrapleural pneumonectomy surgery
    • Pleurectomy with decortication
    • Immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation

Get Connected to the VA Boston Healthcare System

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Our VA‑accredited claims agent, retired Navy LCDR Carl Jewett, has helped many veterans get the medical care they need. He can help you find treatment with a specialist at the Boston VA Medical Center.

Why Choose Boston VA Medical Center?

  • Led by mesothelioma surgeon Dr. Hassan Khalil
  • One of the only VA hospitals with a mesothelioma program
  • Options include surgery, chemotherapy and more


Dr. Hassan Khalil

Unlike most VA healthcare systems and hospitals, the Boston VA Healthcare System 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 Brigham and Women’s Hospital that same year. His official title is associate surgeon in the thoracic surgery division.

“As part of my advanced thoracic training, I trained at the Boston VA,” he said. “I’ve already met a lot of mesothelioma patients in the pipeline. I think that’s also a big plus because I bring expertise from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.”

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’s 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 VA Boston Healthcare System.

Getting Treated Through the Boston VA Hospital

The primary benefit of receiving treatment through the Boston VA Medical Center, 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% 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% disability rating.

Before mesothelioma patients can get treatment through the VA 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 VA specialist 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.

Other VA Benefits Available

In addition to VA health care, veterans with mesothelioma are also entitled to benefits to compensate them for a service‑related condition. These benefits 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 contacting retired Navy LCDR Carl Jewett. You can also email him directly at cjewett@mesotheliomaguide.com.

Sources & Author

    1. Welcoming New Faculty – Hassan Khalil, MD. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Retrieved from: https://www.brighamsurgerynews.com/welcoming-new-faculty-hassan-khalil-md/. Accessed: 06/29/2021.
    2. Hassan A Khalil, MD. Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Retrieved from: https://physiciandirectory.brighamandwomens.org/details/14537/hassan-khalil-thoracic_surgery-boston. Accessed: 06/29/2021.
    3. West Roxbury VA Medical Center. VA Boston Healthcare System. Retrieved from: https://www.boston.va.gov/locations/directions.asp. Accessed: 09/29/2021.
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About the Writer, Retired LCDR Carl Jewett, VA Claims Agent

LCDR Carl Jewett is a retired Naval Officer who serves as the Veterans Department Director and Patient Services Director at Mesothelioma Guide. He is a VA-Accredited Claims Agent with more than 14 years of experience filing asbestos-related VA claims. He has helped over 1400 veterans who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses get approved for VA Disability Compensation, VA Pension, and/or Aid & Attendance benefits. Because veteran’s are also entitled to compensation through the legal system, Carl has communicated with many mesothelioma law firms across the country. He has gained extensive knowledge of asbestos trust funds, mesothelioma lawsuits, settlements, and the claims process. He provides both veterans and civilians with information regarding their legal options.