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LEADING THE NATION IN WOMEN’S HEALTH: THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF RESEARCH PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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LEADING THE NATION IN WOMEN’S HEALTH: THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF RESEARCH. Patty Hayes, Ph.D. Chief Consultant Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group Department of Veterans Affairs VA Women’s Health Services Research Conference Arlington, VA  July 2010. Overarching Goal.

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LEADING THE NATION IN WOMEN’S HEALTH: THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF RESEARCH

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LEADING THE NATION IN WOMEN’S HEALTH: THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF RESEARCH

Patty Hayes, Ph.D.

Chief Consultant

Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group

Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Women’s Health Services Research Conference

Arlington, VA  July 2010


Overarching Goal

Enhance the language, practice, and culture of VA to be more inclusive of women Veterans


Strategic Vision

  • Understanding and treating the effects of military service on women’s lives

    • All effects- of course awareness of negative effects and vulnerabilities, but also of strengths and resilience, etc.

  • Provide an active communication between Researchers and Program/policy Offices to inform the provision of care,

    and to provide the most useful research

    Time is short and the stakes are high: We must be able to be informed about what to do, and measure how well we do it.


Population of Women Veterans

Source data supplied 7/9/10 by the Office of the Actuary, Office of Policy and Planning, Department of Veterans Affairs

128,397 separated female OEF/OIF Veterans since 2002

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There are enough women Veterans to study

  • Women have often been excluded from VA research designs because there were “not enough women veterans to form a statistical group”

  • Many VA studies are still reported only for men, even when women have been sampled

  • Challenge is to

    • Provide accessible population data to allow for appropriate study design

    • Support collaboration across sites


Women Veterans and the VA

Number of Female Veterans enrolled in VA plans

Number that used VA healthcare facilities

Real growth has been from 4% to 6% of users, with a one year relative increase of 15% in 2008-2009 alone

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The population of women Veterans is rapidly expanding

  • Prior to 2005, only 11% of eligible women Veterans used VHA health services (compared to 22% of male Veterans)

  • Today, 16% women Veterans use VHA- but still relatively fewer than male Veterans who are at 23% market penetration

  • However, 48% of OEF/OIF women have enrolled in VHA services

  • There are many women Veterans “in the pipeline” and women are accessing VA at an expanding rate


Women Active Duty Personnel by Branch (2008)

History: Vietnam Era, 3%; Gulf War I,11% female

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Utility of Research on women Veterans-the convergence

  • Understanding the population and the sub-populations of Women Veterans

  • Informing program planning, development and implementation efforts, including

    • Models of provision of health care

    • Clinical quality, behavior change implementation

    • Rural vs. urban, ethnicity and race factors, aging women, young women

  • Designing educational tools for staff, providers and Veterans—and measuring effectiveness


Key priorities for women Veterans’ care:

  • Improve access to VA care

  • Improve care culture surrounding women Vets

  • Improve woman Veteran centered care

  • Improve coordination across providers

    • Across women’s clinics, primary and specialty care

    • Reproductive health services

    • Within VA and with community providers


A key example: Redesigning Primary Care Delivery

Comprehensive Primary Care for Women Veterans: Complete primary care from one designated Women’s Health Primary Care Provider at one site (CBOCs included)

  • Care for acute and chronic illness

  • Gender-specific primary care

  • Preventive services

  • Mental Health services

  • Coordination of care

  • Note: Women’s clinics offering only gender-specific care (Pap clinic or gynecology care alone) do not meet the new definition for comprehensive primary care

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“Hayes” Assessment of WH Field Status

  • “Aging Infrastructure” of women’s research, with considerable geographic dispersion

  • Senior researchers and research-clinicians are over-committed for own research survival and mentoring

    • Little or No protected time for mentoring (succession plan)

  • The Women’s Health Fellows and other junior researchers may not have critical alignment with mentoring researchers who have direct women’s health expertise

  • Data sources are complex and “protected”, as well as frequently “Dirty”— or not designed with gender factors

  • Opportunities for start up support may be limited


Infusion of resources

  • Research: Practice Based Research Network underway

  • Research: Collaborative Research and Initiatives

  • Research: Opportunities for mentoring

  • Program/Data Partnerships for example: Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative ( WHEI)

    • Has allowed for data identification and reconciliation across other data sets such as VSSC, ARC,etc , and data definitions

  • Direct Program support for communications, cross pollination of ideas and projects

  • Research: Agenda setting conference-HSRD & Women’s Health—the way forward


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