February is American Heart Month and VA facilities across the nation are working to ensure Veterans get the message that it’s important to take care of your heart.

While heart disease is a major cause of death for men, it is the number one killer of women in the U.S. It’s also the number one killer of women in Kentucky and an event this week at the Lexington VA Medical Center aimed to reach out directly to those it effects — women Veterans.

Wednesday’s event was the first time the facility hosted a “VA Goes Red for Women” heart health fair, and the first time the facility teamed up with the Central Kentucky Chapter of the American Heart Association. Heart health experts, VA healthcare enrollment specialists, women Veterans advocacy groups and others were on hand to answer questions and provide information to the Veterans attending.

VA goes red for women Veterans

Kentucky Dept. of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry speaks at the Lexington VA Medical Center on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs commissioner Heather French Henry spoke at the event and broke it down by the numbers. There are 2.2 million women and, according to Henry about 24,000 women Veterans in Kentucky, a state where heart disease kills one woman almost every hour. “Each year, 96 women Veterans will die in Kentucky from heart disease,” a number Henry says is far too many.

“You are the best of us. You served us. We are here to serve you,” she said. “Today is our call to action to create healthier hearts for Kentucky’s women Veterans.”

That call to action is something the Women Veterans Program at VA is prepared to carry out. “The Lexington women’s health program is committed to reducing risk, improving health and saving lives,” said manager Jimalee Ross, one of the event’s coordinators. “We are encouraged by the interest the women Veterans showed in the event through attendance and their feedback.”

“As the health promotion and disease prevention program manager, I am committed to empowering Veterans to take an active role in their health,” said Christy Taulbee who helped coordinate the event. “I strongly believe that events such as [this] align with the VA’s commitment to provide women Veterans personalized, proactive and patient driven care.”

Check out some of the photos from the event in our gallery below.

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Published on Feb. 4, 2016

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

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  1. Sheila Riley February 16, 2016 at 7:36 am

    I have been suffering since January 26, 2016. I contacted the VA and was told they had no doctors available to see me for my illness. I contacted the VCOMP program and was only provided a number for recording purposes only. I tried to go to the emergency room but was told by Tricare it would not be covered if it was not life threatening. So, I finally had enough and went to an Urgent care facility on February 11 at 6:25 pm and to be told the same reply about I need to have a referral from my primary care doctor in order to see someone for my inner ear infection which was causing me pain and fever. So, as a Female Veteran as well as a Veteran I have to suffer and pay a cost that should be covered no matter where I seek HEALTH CARE!!!!

  2. Robert L. Kirkland February 14, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I am a marine Vietnam Veteran from 1968 to 1970 the I Corp where the spraying of rainbow herbicides were the heaviest. The VA has really stepped up and taken good care since I had knee and foot injuries, hearing loss and ischemic heart disease. I could not have been happier with the medical care..
    Within the last year or so I have found out that I develop cancer from drinking Contaminated water at Camp Lejuene , NC during my training in 1967 . The Marine Corp keep it quiet until recently. The VA has put me on that registry as well and is monitoring me.
    Thanks again for my medical care .
    Robert L. Kirkland
    Previously, Marine Corp Sargent , Vietnam Veteran (1968-1970)

  3. Reyann Tafoya February 13, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Which direction do. I take now??

  4. Reyann Tafoya February 13, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Im A native american veteran. Honorable discharge in us navy.i just got news my compensation for my dependents was cancelled.no explantion and my dependents are still not On my award. Im struggling trying to support my two children. Can i appeal i need answers. Been waiting almost 3YEARS AND THIS IS WAT I GOT. PLEASE HELP ME

  5. Mark Jennette February 13, 2016 at 10:20 am

    The VA is all smoke-and-mirrors setup by the federal government to appear they are helping veterans, and they do just enough to claim legitimacy. Based on funding they will treat you today and then won’t see you for the same thing tomorrow.

  6. George Irvin McMannis February 12, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I served in Thailand in the Air Force and now suffer from Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease. The VA says I had an office job and do not deserve disability compensation. I sprayed Agent Orange in my squadron area and around the base as part of my duties. Do they not realize that these diseases can occur decades after exposure? I WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING FOR MY DISABILITY!!!!!

  7. gerald shane February 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Doctors who u see, don’t really listen to you when they ask questions, they attempt to get out of what is being asked, saying u don’t really need that operation, as u are ok, when u really are not.

  8. Lynn Santosuosso February 12, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t know where your pole on women and the VA was taken but I know quite a few women including myself who are not happy with the care at the VA! Including one of my friends who the VA almost killed by giving her a medication Without looking at her chart and noting that she had a seizure disorder! She ended up having a grand maul seizure from the medication! This is not good care given by the VA!!

  9. Kim bilberry February 12, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Women vets are NOT all satisfied with the VA process for healthcare and benefits process. Just an FYI of red tape and fighting for care and benefit rights. Always a fight! And passing the buck while the Vetrans still suffer. What a joke sometimes you just want to pull your hair out!!!

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