Three times as many women Veterans are using VA care, benefits, and services now than in 2000, and national efforts are underway to address women specific care.
A new women Veterans clinic will soon join the picturesque tree-lined thoroughfare of the Martinsburg, West Virginia VA Medical Center (VAMC) campus. The new 7500-square-foot women’s clinic will open its doors in 2021 and is representative of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) national focus on women Veteran’s health. The women Veteran population grew 30-percent growth from 2014 to 2018, and VA is making efforts to connect with women and become a trusted provider for all their health care needs.
In Martinsburg, building trust will start with a space designed specifically for women. Chief of Facility Management Jeff Miller says when designing the facility, the specific needs of women Veterans were paramount. “During the design phase we utilized an integrated project team that included not only architects and engineers, but women Veterans and providers as well.” The new clinic will have softer lines and color palates and feature more private parking, entrances, and private bathrooms in exam rooms.
Approximately 3,500 women Veterans live in the the Martinsburg service area, and the facility is anticipating growth similar to national trends. Dr. Michael Botticelli, GYN, at the hospital says that in addition to primary care and preventative medicine, “we have women health care providers at all the local CBOCs (community based outpatient clinics) as well as in Martinsburg.”
Expanded access at the Martinsburg VAMC will include:
- Primary care
- Disease prevention
- Social work
- MST counseling and support groups
- Extended hours for working women
Nationally, VA is reaching out to connect with women Veterans and let them know why they should choose VA. In conjunction with Women’s Health Week, VA medical centers across the country are celebrating the week by offering open houses and special events to put on display the comprehensive services they offer.
The Salem, Virginia VA Medical Center Women Veterans Program Coordinator Beth Wright recently appeared on WFXR News, a local Fox affiliate located in Roanoke VA, to increase awareness of VA services among women Veterans.
The Loma Linda, California VA Medical Center now offers breast cancer screenings without a referral. Treatment effectiveness for breast cancer has increased in recent years, and regular screenings provide necessary early detection. Women Veterans at the Loma Linda VAMC can also schedule a mammography using Patient Self-Referral Direct Scheduling (PSDS). This expedites specialty care and eliminates the need to obtain a consult from a primary care provider.
In addition to primary care and specialty services, VA provides preconception counseling, maternity care, menopausal support and much more. VA encourages all women Veterans, female service members and veteran service organizations to reach out to local VA medical centers and see the comprehensive quality care the VA can provide.
Learn more about how VA is building trust by understanding the moments that matter for Women Veterans.
For more information call the Women Veteran Call center at 855-VA-Women (855-829-6636) or visit www.womenshealth.va.gov