VA Palo Alto Health Care System
The VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) has made it a priority to ensure that all women Veterans receive equitable, high-quality, and comprehensive health care services. VAPAHCS understands the importance of planning and meeting the needs of all women Veterans as their numbers continue to increase. In recognizing all of the services provided by the Women's Health program, it was given the award of Excellence in Clinical Care in 2008.
VAPAHCS is transforming health care delivery to women by delivering Comprehensive Primary Care by proficient and interested primary care providers at all sites of care, including all of our CBOCs. These designated Women's Health providers meet the gender-specific needs of women Veterans in a private and safe environment with dignity and respect. Comprehensive Primary Care means provision of complete primary care from one primary care provider at one site to include:
- Care for acute and chronic illness
- Gender-specific primary care
- Preventive Services
- Mental Health Services
- Coordination of care
The Women's Health Center provides specialty medical services for the health care needs of Women Veterans within VAPAHCS.
The Women's Counseling Center provides outpatient services dedicated to the emotional health and well-being of Women Veterans. This center was designed to meet the needs of the growing female Veteran population within VAPAHCS.
The Women's Trauma Recovery Program provides specialty residential treatment for military women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is the first and longest standing program of its kind and is open to women across the country.
As part of our effort to educate Women Veterans about the Veterans Choice Program, VA created a Veterans Choice Program Toolkit. The full toolkit can be found at www.va.gov/opa/toolkit.
VA Report: America's Women Veterans
Military service history and VA benefit utilization statistics prepared by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics
Women Veterans Health Facts
Prepared by the Department of Veterans Affairs
The "She Wore These" Video addresses the challenges presented by the growing number of Women Veterans in the VA system and actions being taken to ensure they receive quality women's health care.
Our Women Veterans Program Manager advises and advocates for women Veterans. She can help coordinate all the services you may need, from primary care to specialized care for chronic conditions or reproductive health. VA health care for women Veterans includes:
- General care includes health evaluation and counseling, disease prevention, nutrition counseling, weight control, smoking cessation, and substance abuse counseling and treatment as well as gender-specific primary care, such as cervical cancer screens (Pap smears), breast cancer screens (mammograms), birth control, preconception counseling, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, menopausal support (hormone replacement therapy).
- Mental health includes evaluation and assistance for issues such as depression, mood, and anxiety disorders; intimate partner and domestic violence; sexual trauma; elder abuse or neglect; parenting and anger management; marital, caregiver, or family-related stress; and post-deployment adjustment or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Women-and men as well-may experience repeated sexual harassment or sexual assault during their military service. Special services are available to women who have experienced MST. VA provides free, confidential counseling and treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to MST. More information is available about MST from the national Women Veterans Health Care program and the VHA Office of Mental Health.
- Management and screening of chronic conditions includes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, glandular disorders, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Reproductive health care includes maternity care, infertility evaluation and limited treatment; sexual problems, tubal ligation, urinary incontinence, and others. VA is prohibited by legislative authority from providing either in-vitro fertilization or abortion services.
- Rehabilitation, homebound, and long-term care. VA referrals are given to those in need of rehabilitation therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, exercise therapy, recreational therapy, and vocational therapy. Homebound and long-term care services are available as well, limited to those meeting specific requirements.