The Veterans Medical Leadership Council (VMLC) is committed to connecting Maricopa County Military Veterans to medical, mental health, and general wellness resources and opportunities to ensure no true need is left unmet and exemplary honor is bestowed where it has been earned. 


The mission of the VMLC is to provide a forum for community leaders to advocate initiatives that enhance the quality of Veteran’s health care and services in Maricopa County, and to raise funds to primarily assist Arizona Veterans in crises at the Phoenix VA Health Care System and the Arizona State Veteran Home that fall outside federal and state funding guidelines.

Founded in 1999 with the singular mission of supporting the Veterans of the Greater Phoenix Valley who have a need which cannot be legally addressed by the Veterans Administration, the State of Arizona and other Federal and State Offices, the VMLC works in concert with these organizations to ensure Arizona Veterans needs are not left un-met. 

Passionately committed to providing a critical financial safety net on an emergency basis for those Veterans and their families needing a hand up, not a hand-out, during their transition back to civilian society and throughout their post-service journey.  This timely assistance ensures the necessities to our veterans.

The VMLC supports Veterans of any era who have a verified and bonified need and are supported through the VA’s social workers as well as other charitable entities who have a proven method to validate veteran status.  Needs may include but are not limited to, shelter, emergency home or auto repair, utility bills, as well as treatment for Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Primary Programs

Returning Warrior Program

The Returning Warrior Program was started in 2005 to financially assist Veterans transitioning back into the civilian community who were experiencing difficulty meeting their basic needs. The program is primarily for Veterans that are registered at the Phoenix VA Health Care System and are working with a social worker.

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Native American Sustainment (NASVU)

As many as 30% of the Veterans on the Navajo Nation are without running water and electricity. The VMLC supports the Navajo and Hopi with the provision of sustainability supplies including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), solar power, toys, and 300-gallon water tanks.

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Mental Health

VMLC supports Maricopa County Veterans suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress. In November 2021, the VMLC is supporting a Phoenix cohort at Boulder Crest Arizona in Sonoita, AZ. Boulder Crest Foundation has seized upon this opportunity to create and scale a new, innovative, and effective approach to PTSD and combat-related stress, called PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes).

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The Veterans Medical Leadership Council (VMLC) was established by the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center (now the Phoenix VA Health Care System) in April 1999. The concept was based on a VA Public Affairs initiative by Paula Pedene, and endorsed by the Medical Center Director John Fears, to create a group of community leaders to assist the VA in its mission to provide veterans with the highest quality of health care.  The inaugural President was Gregg Ostro, Go Media Co. LLC.

The VMLC’s logo is a torch with six stars hovering above it.  The torch signifies the quest for eternal freedom and honors those who have fought for that freedom.  The six stars represent each branch of the armed forces of the Department of Defense (Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard) who are now our veterans. Members of the VMLC are business leaders who are also military veterans.

The VMLC incorporated in 2002, and the Internal Revenue Service granted the 501c(19) designation in May of 2003.  In 2008, the VMLC added the 501(c) (3) exemption through the addition of VMLC Charities, Inc.

Remembering Brigadier General Tom Browning

Brigadier General Tom Browning was a true war hero, leader and friend.  He was a member of the VMLC for over 10 years and instrumental in its Returning Warrior program to assist Veterans in need. He had a heart for the troops.  His distinguished military career and involvement in the community have directly improved our lives. We are grateful for his service and lasting friendship. The passing of this very special man, who touched the lives of so many, represented a loss to our community. In Tom’s honor, each year at the Heroes Patriotic Luncheon, a community champion will be presented with the BG Tom Browning Community Heroes Award to serve as a reminder for all he did for veterans in Arizona.


For more information on the VMLC, its services or how to get involved, please email us below.