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VA Reaches Out to Women Veterans
Date:6/19/2008

Department Hosts 4th Quadrennial Summit

WASHINGTON, June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Fourth National Summit on Women Veterans' Issues will take place at the Westin Washington, D.C., City Center from June 20-22. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake said the three-day meeting will help ensure that women veterans know about the benefits and health care they have earned.

"With more women than ever serving in our armed forces, this public forum will bring visibility to the issues important to women veterans of all eras," Peake said. "Today, women are important contributors to the military and valued members of the veterans community."

Recognizing the valor, service and sacrifice of America's 1.7 million women veterans, VA has created a comprehensive array of benefits and programs.

Women veterans are entitled to the same benefits and medical care as their male counterparts, including health care, disability compensation, education assistance, work-study allowance, vocational rehabilitation, employment and counseling services, insurance, home loan benefits, nursing home care, survivor benefits and various burial benefits.

In addition, VA also has a multitude of services and programs that respond to the unique needs of women veterans, including pap smears, mammography, and general reproductive health care, substance abuse counseling, counseling for sexual trauma, and evaluation and treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Today, over 200,000 women are serving in the armed forces. About 11 percent of the U.S. forces currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are women.

According to a recent "hospital report card" by VA, the Department's screening for breast and cervical cancer for women in VA facilities exceeds screening in private-sector facilities, but women veterans lag behind their male counterparts in some quality measurements.

VA has already launched an aggressive program to ensure women veterans receive the highest quality of care, including $32.5 million to purchase additional equipment to meet the health care needs of women. This includes full field digital mammography equipment, stereotactic imaging technology, specialized ultrasound and biopsy equipment and DEXA scanners for bone density measurements. The status of health care for women veterans will be a major topic at the summit.

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.

For the latest news releases and other information, visit VA on the Internet at

http://www.va.gov/opa.

To receive e-mail copies of news releases, subscribe to VA's list server at:

http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/opalist_listserv.cfm.


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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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