Women’s Health

Women’s Health


– WELL, WOMEN HAVE SERVED IN OUR NATION’S MILITARY IN EVERY
WAR THAT WE’VE EVER FOUGHT. IF YOU LOOK AT OUR NEWEST
GENERATION OF VETERANS, OUR VETERANS WHO ARE
COMING BACK FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, WOMEN MAKE
UP 12% OF THOSE VETERANS. – THE WOMEN VETERANS NUMBER
1.7 MILLION ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH HAS
STILL DEMONSTRATED THAT MOST WOMEN DON’T REALIZE THAT WOMEN’S
HEALTH SERVICES ARE EVEN AVAILABLE IN THE VA, LET ALONE
IN AS MANY VA MEDICAL CENTERS AS THEY CURRENTLY ARE. – WE ARE VERY MUCH INTERESTED
IN ENSURING THAT ALL MEN AND WOMEN GET TO THE VA. WE WANT YOU TO COME. WE WANT TO ADDRESS YOUR NEEDS. – THE CHANGES HAVE BEEN FAIRLY
DRAMATIC IN THE LAST DECADE. OVER 2/3 OF THE VA MEDICAL
CENTERS ACTUALLY HAVE WOMEN’S CLINICS THAT SERVE THEM
EITHER IN TERMS OF BASIC GYNECOLOGICAL SERVICES OR
PREVENTATIVE SERVICES, ALL THE WAY UP TO BEING COMPREHENSIVE
SEPARATE WOMEN’S PRIMARY CARE CLINICS THAT DELIVER A
WHOLE SCOPE OF SERVICES. – WE’RE CURRENTLY LOOKING
AT HOW WE CAN HELP THE WOMEN VETERANS STRATEGIC HEALTH
CARE GROUP PUT TOGETHER AN IMPLEMENTATION PLAN THAT
PUTS THE BEST FEATURES OF PRIMARY CARE WITH THE BEST
FEATURES OF WOMEN’S CLINICS SO THAT THE HEALTH OUTCOMES
FOR WOMEN ARE IMPROVED. – NOW, WITH THIS NEW GENERATION OF VETERANS COMING IN,
WE ACTUALLY ARE REALIZING THAT THERE’S EVEN MORE UNIQUE
SPECIAL NEEDS THAT WOMEN HAVE THAT MALE VETERANS DON’T HAVE. – THEIR EXPERIENCES IN THE
MILITARY ARE UNIQUE, THEIR EXPERIENCES ONCE THEY
DISCHARGE FROM THE MILITARY AND BECOME VETERANS ARE
UNIQUE, AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE’RE PAYING
ATTENTION TO WOMEN VETERANS’ UNIQUE ISSUES. – RESEARCH HAS ALSO
DEMONSTRATED THAT THESE WOMEN HAVE SUBSTANTIAL CHRONIC
DISEASE BURDEN AND MENTAL HEALTH BURDEN, AND ACTUALLY,
ON AVERAGE, THEY HAVE A HIGHER MENTAL HEALTH BURDEN
THAN OUR MALE VETERANS. – VA HAS MANY RESEARCH
PROGRAMS TAILORED SPECIFICALLY TO WOMEN. – WE HAVE VERY ACTIVE STUDIES
IN PTSD, MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA, DIABETES
CARE IMPROVEMENT. WE HAVE STUDIES OF THE CHRONIC
AND MENTAL HEALTH DISEASE BURDEN AMONG WOMEN VETERANS. – A LOT OF THE STUDY OF
WOMEN VETERANS REALLY FOCUSED ON PTSD. SO THE PROLONGED EXPOSURE
STUDY WAS A VERY LARGE STUDY ACROSS MANY VAs WITH MANY
WOMEN VETERANS VOLUNTEERING TO BE A PART OF THAT STUDY. – THE RESEARCH PROGRAM FOR
PTSD, THE PROLONGED EXPOSURE THERAPY, WHICH I WENT THROUGH–
BY THE TIME I WAS DONE, I HAD LOTS OF BENEFITS. – NOW WE HAVE SOME VERY STRONG
DATA FROM THAT RESEARCH STUDY INDICATING THAT PROLONGED
EXPOSURE THERAPY CAN BE A VERY EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR
WOMEN VETERANS WHO HAVE PTSD. – I’M REALLY THANKFUL FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PARTICIPATE
IN THE RESEARCH. – TO BE ABLE TO SEE IN 10
SHORT YEARS THE TRANSFORMATION FROM NO WOMEN’S HEALTH
RESEARCH BEING FUNDED TO FUNDING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF
RESEARCH IN THIS AREA, HAVING ACTIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH
THE WOMEN VETERANS HEALTH STRATEGIC HEALTH CARE GROUP,
WITH THE CENTER FOR WOMEN VETERANS, WITH VETERAN SERVICE
ORGANIZATIONS NOW, AND HAVING THIS FREE FLOW RIGHT TO
CLINICAL MANAGERS, RIGHT TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS,
HAS BEEN JUST TREMENDOUSLY GRATIFYING. SO IT’S JUST VERY EXCITING
TO BE A PART OF THAT TRANSFORMATION AND TO HAVE
RESEARCH BE INFORMING EACH STEP OF THE WAY. – IF YOU’RE A VETERAN, I
WOULD STRONGLY SUGGEST GETTING INVOLVED IN RESEARCH, NOT
ONLY BECAUSE VETERANS ARE CHARACTERISTICALLY ABOUT
HELPING EACH OTHER, BUT BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO BENEFIT FROM IT YOURSELF.

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