Women Veterans Health Care
Did you know that women are the fastest growing group within the Veteran population? Learn more about the changing face of women Veterans and what VA is doing to meet their health care needs.
Barriers to Care Study
The Office of Women's Health Services is pleased to release the results of the Barriers to Care Study.
In May 2010, Congress signed Public Law 111-163, Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act. Section 201 of this legislation required the VA to examine potential barriers to women Veteran’s accessing and utilizing VA health care services. The legislation specifically identified nine focus areas; Barrier 1: Comprehension of Eligibility Requirement and Scope of Services, Barrier 2: Effect of Outreach Specifically Addressing Women’s Health Services, Barrier 3: Effect of Driving Distance on Access to Care, Barrier 4: Location and Hours, Barrier 5: Childcare, Barrier 6: Acceptability of Integrated Care, Barrier 7: Gender Sensitivity, Barrier 8: Mental Health Stigma and Barrier 9: Safety and Comfort
To examine these topics the VA Office of Women’s Health Services awarded a contract to Altarum Institute, a non-profit independent health research organization. Altarum conducted a nation-wide telephone survey of more than 8,400 women Veterans who currently use and do not use VA services. Results of this study will assist VA in understanding the challenges women Veteran’s encounter when accessing care and inform the future planning of services and programming so that women Veterans receive the highest quality health care. Read more here.
Sourcebook Volume 4
The Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) analyzes centralized, national VHA databases to inform Women's Health Services strategic policy and program planning objectives. Among WHEI’s products have been a series of Sourcebooks.
Like Sourcebook Volumes 1, 2, and 3, the current Sourcebook—Volume 4—describes sociodemographic characteristics, health care utilization patterns, and medical conditions of women Veteran patients in VHA. However, Sourcebook Volume 4 includes more recent data and, for the first time, portrays longitudinal trends across a 16-year time horizon, focusing on cohorts of women Veterans using VHA at four Fiscal Year (FY) timepoints: FY00, FY05, FY10, and FY15. Sourcebook Volume 4 thus provides a view of how the population of women Veterans using VHA has been evolving across a 16-year period coinciding with rapid VHA women’s health care delivery system advances, and points to directions for readying the system for future expansion of the number of women Veterans using VHA. Read more here.
Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika.
There have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly (a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age) and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant.
VA is working closely with the CDC to monitor the Zika virus outbreak. VA follows CDC guidance on the Zika virus, and provides Zika virus testing for Veteran patients. You can learn more here.