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VA Reaches Out to Women Veterans
Date:3/27/2008

eral specific initiatives for 2008 including:

-- enhancing skills of primary care providers who treat women veterans;

-- examining other women's health issues, including cardiac care, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer in women;

-- focusing on family issues and avoiding birth defects through enhanced pharmacy practices for women veterans of child bearing age.

Women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the veteran population second only to elderly veterans. Approximately 1.7 million women veterans comprise 7 percent of the total veteran population. Approximately 255,000 women use VA health care services. Today, over 200,000 women are serving in the Armed Forces. With the increasing number of women, VA estimates by 2020 women veterans will comprise 10 percent of the veteran population.

There is a women veterans program manager at every VA medical center, a women's liaison at every community based outpatient clinic and a women veterans coordinator at every VA regional office.

VA is reaching out to women veterans who are experiencing problems related to sexual trauma or harassment while in the military. All veterans, men and women, may receive free counseling, disability compensation, and related services for sexual trauma incurred in the military. In addition, there are programs for women veterans who are homeless or are victims of domestic violence.

There is a Military Sexual Trauma (MST) point of contact for psychotherapy at every VA medical center. Extensive enhancements of the MST program have taken place over the past two years, including training of providers in the most current effective treatments for PTSD and sexual trauma. In addition, VA has sites for combat PTSD in women and is examining how best to address complex combat and MST issues.

In addition to the services provided at each VA medical center, the Department also operates fifty Women's Health Centers, within medical cent
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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