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Rural Community Profile: Togus VA in Maine

Almost a quarter of all Veterans in the United States—4.7 million—return from active military careers to reside in rural communities. At VA, we work to meet these Veterans where they live, and promote the opportunities to find happy homes in these rural communities around the country.

These rural communities offer a number of benefits that you will enjoy as much as the Veterans who live there. You may find an opportunity to be closer to family and friends, or enjoy a greater sense of privacy. Perhaps the lower cost of living or even the allure of open space appeals to you.

Today, let’s explore one of the oldest facilities in our national network with a trip north to the Togus VA Medical Center.

Togus VA Medical Center

Originally, what we now know as the Togus VA Medical Center was built in 1858 to be a resort hotel, which boasted 134 rooms, a stable, a large pool, a bathing house, a racetrack, and a bowling alley.

When the resort failed to draw much activity, the property was sold to the federal government in 1866, where it was developed as the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers from the Civil War. Over time, additional buildings were constructed to convert the site to a Veterans Administration hospital.

The Governor’s House, the oldest building in the complex and the oldest veteran-related facility in the country, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. The facilities, along with the adjacent Togus National Cemetery, were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Currently, Togus VA provides primary care and specialty health services, including mental health services, long-term nursing care, treatment for spinal cord injuries, and more. 

Chelsea, Maine

Togus VA is located in Chelsea, Maine, a small town on the eastern bank of the Kennebec River. It was incorporated in 1851, separating from a portion of the community of Hallowell. The town is primarily residential, with some agricultural development.

With two major highways running along the east and western boundaries, Chelsea is called the “Gateway to the Capital” because of its geographic proximity to Augusta, Maine.

As the community of just under 3,000 residents gears up for its 175th anniversary celebration in the coming years, volunteers have made a strong push toward developing exceptional community engagement.

In recent years, the town has opened a community garden and refurbished the local Butternut Park with a new picnic area. Community engagement groups have also sprung up, including local walking excursions and potluck dinners aimed and bringing residents together.

The town has also worked to connect the Veterans at Togus VA to these groups and has been diligent to include voices from the Veteran community in its engagement projects.

Jobs at Togus VA

If you’re ready to make rural living a part of your daily life, a job at Togus VA will see you become part of a top-notch staff dedicated to caring for the more than 40,000 brave and heroic Veterans served by the VA Maine Healthcare System.

Right now, there are many openings at the facility, including:

No matter your role, you’ll be able to take advantage of numerous benefits that will change not only your career, but your personal life as well.

We offer the choice of a variety of health plans, and all cover preexisting conditions. Additionally, we pay up to 75% of health premiums, a benefit that can continue into retirement, making our insurance some of the best you’ll find.

At VA, our employees receive 13 to 26 paid vacation/personal days, 13 sick days annually with no limit on accumulation, and 11 paid federal holidays each year, so your schedule can be balanced with your personal priorities.

And when you’re ready for a new challenge, we offer ongoing leadership development through every level of employment, whether it is mandatory programs or competitive opportunities. We also have resources that make it easier for you to continue your education if you choose.

Work at VA

Find a community that’s right for you, and help us promote the health and well-being of rural Veterans with a career at VA.

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