We know there are more than 1.8 million women Veterans in the United States. Did you know VA offers high quality women’s health care? My office is working hard to get the word out and we have developed a public service announcement (PSA) to let you know VA is the right place for you.

The PSA encourages viewers to rethink their assumption that Veterans are male and reminds them that women Veterans are coming home, separating from service, or returning to Guard or Reserve status. Most importantly, it sends a clear message that VA is ready to serve you.

Delivering this message is one of the most critical aspects of our ongoing initiative to improve VA access and services for women. I was reminded of that at the 15th anniversary celebration of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) on October 20th. I talked with some of the hundreds of proud women service members and Veterans who gathered at the foot of Arlington National Cemetery. They asked me whether VA is going to be there for them and that just reinforces our need to get the word out about how to access VA care.

Our multi-faceted initiative has made great progress improving services for women by implementing comprehensive primary care, training and educating VA providers in women’s health, directing research on the effects of military service on women’s lives and spearheading a campaign to change the culture of VA to be more accepting of women Veterans. All things that make VA the right place for you. We are here for you and we are working hard to give you the highest quality care.

Dr. Patricia Hayes is the Chief Consultant for Women Veterans Health at VA.

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Published on Nov. 20, 2012

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  1. Ann wingate December 4, 2012 at 5:20 am

    Okay, 63 yr old Vietnam Vet , 1968 – 1969. I’ve been diagnosed with cancer twice. Now once again win BAC form of slow growing lung cancer, had biopsy, but no chemo or radiation, luckily not needed at this time. Is there anyway the cancer’s i’ve had and the new one (BAC) are duty connected, even though I never left states? Former husband was in Nam twice, he’s healthy, our daughter is heathly. Family history, no CA in material or paternal parents. Little medical history known of grandparents.
    I was stationed in Alabama, South Carolina and Louisana.
    Have you heard of this happening before with women veterans? If so, what steps do I take to inform the VA Hospital I attend now?
    Thank you,

  2. Diane Chamberlain December 4, 2012 at 12:44 am

    The best healthcare? I think not! The VA has a loooong way to go to take care of its women. Some of the care is better than others. Florida is inconsistent and probably not accountable enough. I moved away from that area due to the inconsistant care and some of it down right abusive. I am in another more northern state and the care is much better. There is not a consistency for women. We have a long way to go. Every center should have JACHO standards. Otherwise there is no accountability.

  3. Cynthia K. Dias November 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I am a Vietnam Veteran and because am currently unemployed and filing for Social Security Disability, I drove to the Tampa facility for severe back muscle spasms. Had to borrow a vehicle from a friend to get there. Checked in and there was a question of eligibility. A wonderful young man checked something online (I had been seen in Orlando VA clinic) and eligibility was initially granted there and corrected the intake personnel of their error. When I finally was seen by a nurse practitioner, she was very short with me and I informed her that had had severe back pain x 2 days and needed some relief. She left the area and came back with a something that was in a syringe and told me to drop my pants (her office door was still open) and gave me the medication IM. When I asked her what she gave me, she stated “something to help with your muscle spasms.” I barely made the walk to the parking garage and could not remember where I had parked the car. The side effects of the IM muscle relaxant was taking affect. I called my niece who came and picked me up in the parking garage as I thought that I may fall from the dizziness I was having. She got me home and had a friend drive my sister’s car home when my niece located it in the garage.

    As being an RN since 1994, a lot of protocols were ignored. I never want to return to that clinic in Tampa and wish I had some options. But when you are 61 years of age, there aren’t that many when you are unemployed. Wish I could go back to the VA clinic in Orlando as I felt I was dealt with in a courteous manner and well informed of what they were going to do, before they did anything.

    Mahalo for your time,
    C. Kamaile Dias

  4. robbin November 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    For a veteran like me that served in the Army for over 17 years has been usig the VA Baltimore sine 2001. What I’ve noticed in the Women’s Health Department is that the health care system is still geared toward women and not men. Things like paps smear and breast exams are the only things offered with little to no followup back to the veteran from the providers. What are you doing to address specific Women’s Health Issues?


  5. Ralph Lepley November 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I’m a strong supporter of equal care for women veterans under VA care. There should never be a double standard. I also believe that the reverse is true.

    I was sprayed 13 times while in IV Corp, SVN, during 1970-71 with Agent Orange/Dioxin while traveling through the jungle to and from base camps.

    As a result I have a zero (0) sperm count. All of my potential children died in South Vietnam. Ironically, my veterans’ attorney tells me that if I were a female veteran, my cause would be certain to be approved by VA disability claims. She says this is a clear case of reverse discrimination.

    Ralph Lepley

  6. Kathryn Warren November 21, 2012 at 4:03 am

    I would like for the VA to press the issue of women who have been stationed at Fort McClellan, AL. We have so many illnesses and diseases we acquired because of the PCBs, etc at Fort McClellan. The issue has been up before Congress, but has basically been stalemated. They try to act like we don’t exist because they don’t care!!! Somehow we need to get into their faces and tell them we are here until they start recognizing us.

  7. Evelyn Facha November 21, 2012 at 1:51 am

    They have a long way to go before we get the same care as the male population. They will give a man expense Viagra, but will not give a women reconstuctive surgery after
    Breast Cancer surgery.

  8. Evelyn Facha November 21, 2012 at 1:49 am

    They have a long way to go before we get the same care as the male population. They will give s man expense Viagra, but will not give a women reconstuctive surgery after
    Breast Cancer surgery.

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