Women Veterans Health Care
VA Showcases a National Women Veterans Art Show
Women Veterans are increasingly using VA for their health care. Across the country 15 VA Medical Centers are hosting exhibitions of women Veterans’ art. Through these art displays, VA brings greater attention to the stories of the military experiences of women Veterans and their life accomplishments.
The art exhibits are staged through a partnership with the Women Veterans Art Project (WVAP), the VA Center for Women’s Health and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Women’s Health Service.
WVAP “ambassadors” assist VA facility staff – including the Women’s Health Program Manager and Voluntary Service – in selecting and showcasing the art. A variety of art mediums are on display representing the diversity of women Veterans both in background and military experience. What unites them all is the dedication to the defense of our nation and community service.
To find out if there will be women Veteran’s art exhibits in your community, contact your local VA Medical Center’s Office of Public Affairs.
Women’s Health Mini-Residency Training Continues to Equip VA Providers and Nurses to Provide Gender-Sensitive Care
Women are the fastest growing Veteran population seeking care in VA. VA’s Women’s Health Services (WHS) provides unique clinical training opportunities to equip VA providers and nurses to better support women Veterans’ long-term health and well-being. This Women’s Health Mini-Residency training is one offering that bolsters the expertise of VA’s primary care and emergency care providers and nurses to address the full range of women Veterans’ medical needs.
Participants at the VA Women’s Health Mini-Residency training take part in lectures and discussions on the must current women’s health topics, including those addressing specific Veteran needs. Providers and nurses benefit from training about the unique needs of women including such topics as contraception, abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain and screening for breast and cervical cancer. In addition, the unique needs and exposures that may impact women Veterans such as burdens of deployment, physical demands of heavy gear, combat exposure, potential for military sexual trauma, and post-deployment readjustment that can impact women differently than men, are discussed. Those who attend this training become attuned to these issues, so they can identify and treat those conditions in women Veterans for optimal health and wellness. Providers and nurses who take part of this training also bolster their skills through the interactive portions of training which include facilitated case discussions, medical mannequins for hands-on activities, videos of gynecologic procedures, and demonstration of various gynecologic supplies and contraceptives. Finally, they also have the opportunity to practice history-taking and breast and pelvic exam techniques on a live female model (gynecologic teaching associate).
Women Veterans who get their primary care from a Women’s Health Primary Care Provider (WH-PCP) – a designation participants can obtain after completing this training - are more satisfied with their primary care clinic and have a better overall experience with their care and higher quality of gender-specific care than those assigned to other providers.
Since 2008, VA has trained over 6,000 providers and nurses through this training program at the national and local levels. Additionally, since 2017 WHS has partnered with VA’s Office of Rural Health (ORH) to offer a mobile version of the Women’s Health Mini-Residency that travels to rural VA clinics to train their providers and nurses, thereby supporting the highest level of care for women Veterans in rural areas.
If you have questions about the Women’s Health Mini-Residency, please contact VHACOWomen'sHealthEducationTeam@va.gov.
Provider and Nurse Training on Women’s Health Is on the Move
The number of women Veterans is increasing rapidly. As such, the number of women Veterans receiving health care from VA tripled between 2000 and 2016, growing from 160,000 to 475,000, increasing the need for gender-specific health care. As of May 2017, 26 percent of enrolled women Veterans lived in rural areas. Increasing the need of more primary care providers designated as Women’s Health Primary Care Providers (WH-PCPs) and nursing staff trained in women’s health in these rural areas.
To better support women Veterans’ long-term health and well-being, including those in rural communities. VA launched a new training program to increase providers’ and nurses’ knowledge of women’s health topics. VA’s Women’s Health Services (WHS) and Office of Rural Health (ORH) collaborated to design and deliver a mini-residency program to rural medical care teams nationwide. This program—the Women’s Health Mini-Residency for Primary Care Rural Providers and Nurses—is a multi-year training initiative that launched nationally June 2018 to staff at rural VA clinical sites.
WHS understands that rural VA clinics, with fewer staff, may face challenges sending staff off-site for training that not only may disrupt normal clinic operations, but also impacts Veterans seeking care at those facilities. To address the training need and minimize the impact on patients and clinic staff, WHS is implementing a blended learning approach that specifically meets the needs of providers and nurses at rural Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) and VA medical centers (VAMC). This training includes:
- Core women’s health courses on topics such as abnormal uterine bleeding, contraception, breast issues and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) offered via the Veteran Affairs’ Talent Management System (TMS) and done independently in advance of the one-day training delivered directly at clinic sites.
- Tailored one-day, on-site training includes interactive portions of the program such as facilitated case discussions, simulation equipment for hands-on activities, videos of gynecologic procedures and exams, and live models for breast and pelvic exam instruction.
- Patient-Aligned Care Team (PACT) providers and nurses train side-by-side in this inter-professional training program, which aligns with how care is provided
In all, each provider and nurse will receive more than 18 hours of accredited training. Beginning in FY 2018, in partnership with ORH, WHS will provide this mini-residency for rural providers and nurses in up to 40 rural clinical sites per year to support the highest level of care for women Veterans in rural are
If you have questions about the Women’s Health Mini-Residency for Rural Providers and Nurses, please contact email@example.com.
Reimbursement of Qualifying Adoption Expenses for Certain Veterans
In the rule published Monday March 5, 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs amends its regulation to provide reimbursement of qualifying adoption expenses incurred by Veterans with a service-connected disability that results in infertility. Covered veterans may request reimbursement for qualifying adoption expenses incurred for adoption finalized after September 29, 2016. More information can be found on the Federal Register.Dowbload the VA Form 10152, Reimbursement Request for Qualifying Adoption Expenses (requires Adobe Reader 8 or higher)
The form is also accessible by downloading as PDF VA Form 10152
Women Veteran Athletes Initiative
To raise national awareness of the service, diversity, and resilience of women Veterans, in March 2018 VA’s Center for Women Veterans will host an exhibit featuring 10 women Veteran Athletes in 10 VAMCs nationwide, after which it will travel to additional facilities. In partnership with Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), a nonprofit that hosts regular fitness, social, and community service events nationwide, we will display high-quality posters with photos of the women Veterans taken by Stacy Pearsall of the Veterans Portrait Project. By highlighting these 10 inspiring women, we hope to increase awareness of women Veterans, both in VA and in the public, and to encourage women Veterans to choose VA to support their health and wellness goals. Check out the digital exhibit!
Infertility Treatment Options Available to Veterans
Learn about service-connected infertility treatment options available to Veterans and their spouses. These options include IVF treatment, which is now available due to a regulation change.
2017 National Women Veterans Summit Cyberseminars -- Save the Date!
This series of webinars will provide women Veterans and the local/state/ Federal/non-government organization (NGO) partners who serve them with information about the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and services, especially those designated for women Veterans. Learn More.
American Heart Association names Dorn VA Medical Center employee and Veteran Beverly Buchanan as a 2017 Real Women Spokesperson!
The American Heart Association (AHA), the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, is honoring 11 women who are sharing their stories to inspire others as part of the 2017 Go Red For Women class of Real Women. The Real Women serve as national spokespeople for the movement. This year’s class includes Columbia, South Carolina resident Beverly Buchanan.
Beverly is a nurse educator and Army Veteran. She is also a heart disease survivor, having undergone open-heart surgery in 2012. You can read Beverly’s full story on the AHA Real Women page. She was nominated by colleagues for consideration in the Go Red For Women Real Women campaign in January 2017 as a part of the Office of Women’s Health Services annual Go Red challenge.
The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Real Women represent a sisterhood of survivors who actively, urgently, and passionately participate in the movement to raise awareness of the issues connecting women, heart diseases, and stroke. We are honored that Beverly Buchanan has been chosen as the VA representative for the 2017 class of Real Women.
Real Women Class of 2017
The Woman Behind the Only National Memorial for Female Vets
Thirty years after being sent to Vietnam without weapons training, Wilma Vaught started collecting stories of women's military history. Learn more.
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines—VA Adopts American Cancer Society Guidelines as of 5/9/17
On 5/9/17, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. David J. Shulkin announced that VHA will follow the American Cancer Society (ACS) Breast Screening Recommendations. This is a change from the current VA guidance on breast cancer screening. Learn more.
Hampton VA staff gives back in Portsmouth to help sheltered women
For the past three years, Hampton VA Medical Center’s Home Telehealth Service has been donating care packages to the Health and Emergency Response Shelter in Portsmouth, Virginia, a private, non-profit agency offering 24-hour emergency hotline and housing for women who fear for their safety and their children. Learn more.
In the Game: Navy Veteran staying active despite vision loss
Now 62, Joe Ann McBride can only make out shapes and a couple colors, but she’s competing for the fourth year in a row at the National Veterans Golden Age Games, taking place this year in Biloxi, Mississippi. McBride is in four events: visually-impaired bowling, boccia, power walking and blind discus golf. Learn more.
Women Veterans art exhibits featured at 10 Starbucks locations
VA’s Center for Women Veterans partnered with Veteran Artist Program to highlight women Veteran artists this year. Ten storyboards featuring images of their art, along with photos of the women in and out of uniform and brief biographies, are designed to raise awareness of the creativity, service and sacrifice of women Veterans, as well as their diverse backgrounds and experiences. Starbucks is displaying individual storyboards from the exhibit at 10 locations for the month of April. Learn more.
'The Hello Girls' Chronicles The Women Who Fought For America — And For Recognition
They were the "Hello Girls" — a cadre of patriotic women who volunteered when the U.S. Army realized that the war would be won or lost on the Allies' ability to exploit the new technology of telephone communication. They were brave. They were resourceful. But when they returned home, they discovered to their dismay that, according to the United States government at least, there was one thing they most certainly were not: veterans. Learn more.
ICYMI: #ExploreVA Facebook Live tour of health care resources for Women Veterans
On March 23, VA and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) co-hosted a Facebook Live video tour of the D.C. VA Medical Center Women’s Health Clinic to discuss these services and more. Experts from VA and DAV then answered questions and directed Veterans to available resources. Learn more.
Veteran artists work highlighted at VA during Women’s History Month
In honor of Women’s History Month, VA’s Center for Women Veterans partnered with Veteran Artist Program (VAP) to display art by 10 women Veterans at 10 VA medical centers nationwide with support from Veterans Canteen Service and First Data. Learn more.
VA to Provide Fertility Counseling and Treatment for Certain Veterans and Spouses
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it is amending its regulation regarding fertility counseling and treatment available to eligible Veterans and spouses. Learn more.
After Fire: The Challenges Facing Women Veterans
“Every day is Veteran’s Day,” says a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) team in After Fire, a documentary by Brittany Huckabee.
They are canvassing Capitol Hill on behalf of top issues impacting those who have served. Learn More*
U.S. House to Vote on Act Named after Milbridge Veteran Ruth Moore
The U.S. house is scheduled to vote today on the Ruth Moore Act, named after a Milbridge woman and veteran who battled for more than two decades to get VA compensation for disabilities caused by two rapes while she was in the military. Learn More*
Group Holds First Meeting for Women Veterans
A group of women veterans gathered together on Saturday. Chandra York of the newly formed Facebook group "Southern Oregon Women Veterans" wanted to get them together and combined with others to make it happen. Learn More*
Soldiering on with Soldier On: Program Helps Women Veterans Build Lives
A rocky path led veteran Mary Wilson to the doorstep of the Soldier On Women’s Program. “The gift of desperation,” she calls it.
A former U.S. Marine Corps private, Wilson in July moved into the transitional housing program located on the grounds of the VA medical center. After years of struggle, she says, she finally feels like she has a base on which to build a life. Learn More*
Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center Reaches Out to Women Veterans with "Ladies' Night"
Women veterans have the opportunity to see what the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center has to offer regarding comprehensive healthcare. Learn More*
'Stand Up and Be Counted'
Local veterans got the chance to add their voices to a project that seeks to identify issues specifically facing female veterans, and work toward solutions to them here in Alaska. Learn More*
Why so Many Women Veterans are Homeless
When people imagine homeless veterans, their mental image is almost inevitably male. However, as the number of women serving in the military has increased, female veterans have become the fastest growing demographic in America’s homeless community. Just as with male veterans, these service members struggle to transition to civilian life, and some grapple with unemployment and homelessness. Learn More*
‘After Fire’ and Women Veterans’ Complicated Road to Healing Trauma
Like everyone who deals with trauma, women veterans who return to the U.S. after serving in the military have their own ways of healing. Learn More*
ABCCM Agrees to Offer Equal Services to Women Veterans
A local Christian ministry has settled a gender discrimination case with the federal government, agreeing to ensure it offers the same job training and housing to female veterans that it does for males. Learn More*
Former Marine Pens Book about Surviving Sexual Assault
Semper Fidelis,” the motto of the United States Marine Corps, means “always faithful.”That was 20-year-old Michelle Capucci’s mindset when she signed up in 1966. Now 70, the Great Bridge resident, who grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, decided at an early age that the military would be in her future. Learn More*
Veterans Corner: VA, Women Veterans Launch 'I Serve' Campaign
The Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with Lean In Women Veterans to launch the campaign “I Serve” in efforts to highlight women veterans who have answered the call to duty. The campaign aspires to promote the diversity of women veterans and celebrate the many accomplishments they have had in our military. Learn More*
Volunteers Form Symbolic Pink Ribbon at VA Medical Center for Breast Cancer Awareness
From above, it looked like a string of waving hands surrounded in pink.
Veterans Affairs Will Begin Covering IVF and Adoption Costs for Wounded Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs will begin covering costs for in vitro fertilization and adoptions for combat-wounded veterans struggling with infertility because of their injuries, giving thousands of young veteran families fresh hope at starting a family, advocates say. Learn More*
VA Offers Suicide Prevention for Women Vets
When we go through changes in life, it’s often hard to adjust to a new normal. For those who’ve served in the armed forces, things they’ve experienced as well as moving from military to civilian can be extremely tough. Learn More*
Taking Military Sexual Trauma Seriously
One California court system is working to address the challenges facing women veterans, still coping with abuse they endured during their service. Learn More*
Luncheon Notes Appreciation for Military Women
The Jerry Ambrose Veteran Council and Kingman Elks Lodge jointly sponsored a Military Women Appreciation Luncheon on Aug. 9 at the Elks Lodge. Learn More*
Houston VA Expanding Programs to Help Women Veterans
More women veterans live in Texas than in any other state and the number keeps getting bigger. Learn More*
Women Veterans are Seeking Specialized License Plate
The McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond is organizing an effort to have a special license plate for Virginia's women veterans. Learn More*
Women Veterans Take Key Roles at the Party Conventions
Women veterans have become a key talking point at both political conventions this month, but community leaders say that attention alone won’t be enough to address the challenges facing their population. Learn More*
There are now four female combat veterans in Congress.
And they have something to say about the changing face of the Armed Forces, which is officially open to women joining combat units across the board. Learn More*
VA Medical Center Hosts Baby Shower For Veteran Moms
The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks hosted a baby shower today for expectant and new moms who are veterans or spouses of veterans. Learn More*
Only 20 Percent of Women Veterans in Region Receives Service from VA
More than ever before women are joining the military.
But many of them don't realize that the VA offers services for women just as much as for men. Learn More*
Psychological Scars Increase Risk of Suicide Among Women Veterans
The casualty reports crossed Army Spc. Victoria Lampton’s desk on a daily basis, but the grim reality of her tour in Afghanistan didn’t grip her until death papers for one of her closest friends landed in her inbox. Learn More*