Female Veterans are on pace to double in number over the next few years. In preparing for this demographic shift — and in recognizing that women have unique health care needs — the VA has undergone nothing short of a medical makeover during the last decade.
Now the VA's Health Resource Center is reaching out to women Veterans nationwide, asking them to share their VA experiences and suggest potential enhancements to further ensure they receive the best care anywhere. The center, which started placing calls June 1, is contacting women who have enrolled for VA care but have not begun using services.
"Through this contact center we are placing friendly, conversational calls to women Veterans," said Patricia Hayes, the VA's national director of women's health. "We want these Veterans and their caregivers to talk candidly about why they are not using VA, whether they are aware of the gender-specific services we offer, and what additional services they would like to see."
The VA estimates that women will constitute 10 percent of the Veteran population and 9.5 percent of VA patients by 2020.
Locally, VA Palo Alto Health Care System has been quick to help women feel welcome — and well cared for — within its walls. This commitment began more than a decade ago, when VA Pittsburgh opened one of the VA's first female-centered clinics. Since then, VAPAHCS was named as a Women Veterans' Center of Excellence. Currently, VA Palo Alto is the only VA with that designation.
Earlier this year, VAPAHCS reaffirmed its trailblazer reputation by cutting the ribbon on a resource center for women Veterans, where they can access information about health care and much more.
For more information about VA Palo Alto's programs for women, visit the Women's Health Care Services website, or you may contact our Women's Program Manager, Linda Kleinsasser, at 650-493-5000 x64851, or email.