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Women Veterans Health Care. Laura Herrera, MD, MPH Director, Comprehensive Women’s Health Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group Veterans Health Administration U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs November 11, 2010. Population of Women Veterans.

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women veterans health care

Women Veterans Health Care

Laura Herrera, MD, MPH

Director, Comprehensive Women’s Health

Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

November 11, 2010

population of women veterans
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

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women active duty personnel by branch of service sept 09
Women Active Duty Personnel by Branch of Service (Sept 09)

US Dept of Defense, Defense Manpower Data Center as of September 30, 2009.

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demographics ethnicity and race
Demographics: Ethnicity and Race

VA Health Care Utilization Among 137,942 Female OEF/OIF Veterans through 3rd Qtr. FY 2010 Environmental Epidemiology Service

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slide7

Demographics: Age

  • Average age of VA users
    • Female Veteran = 47
    • Male Veteran = 61
  • Among women VA users returning from OEF/OIF
    • 76.8% are age 40 or below
    • 47.1% are 30 or younger

VA Health Care Utilization Among 137,942 Female OEF/OIF Veterans through 3rd Qtr. FY 2010 Environmental Epidemiology Service

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trimodal age distribution women veteran va patients
Trimodal Age DistributionWomen Veteran VA Patients

Frayne SM. VA Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative.

Plenary Presentation at the VA HSR&D Women’s Health Services Research Conference in Washington DC July, 2010

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How Does Combat Affect Health?

  • Physical injuries with residual pain
  • Diagnosable mental health conditions
  • Unexplained symptoms with general health decline
  • Hearing problems
  • Dental problems
  • Psychosocial distress: marriage/work/social disruption
  • Post-war death/injury from “incidental trauma”

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Deployment Risk Factors

  • Combat exposure (mortars, IED, RPG)
  • Heavy gear
  • Ceramic vests
  • Moving heavy equipment
  • Walking, jumping, running
  • Driving long distances
  • Extreme temperature
  • Hygiene issues
  • Dietary issues
  • Interactions with male counterparts
  • Family and other relationship issues

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reintegration and service needs of women veteran mothers family
Reintegration and Service Needs of Women Veteran Mothers: Family

Feeling isolated; difficulty communicating with family and friends

Not having enough time to “readjust”

Family members expecting a quick return to former roles and “old selves”

Difficulties bonding with children (differed depending on age of child, time/distance away)

Feeling need to “compensate” for being away

Feeling “out of sync” with children, partners/family

Gudrun Lange, PhD (PI) & Karen Quigley, PhD (Co-PI)

NJ War Related Illness & Injury Study Center - WRIISC

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reintegration and service needs of women veteran mothers work
Reintegration and Service Needs of Women Veteran Mothers: Work

Employment concerns (with or without children)

Making more $ in military than since returning home

Difficulty finding civilian job that pays as well as military

Going back to school as attractive option (GI bill)

Difficulties in money management

From having basic needs (housing, food, clothing) taken care of to learning how to budget/manage $$

Made more difficult by lower earning power

Tensions about (mis)management of $$ while away

Gudrun Lange, PhD (PI) & Karen Quigley, PhD (Co-PI)

NJ War Related Illness & Injury Study Center - WRIISC

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slide15

Musculoskeletal Disorders

  • Joint Disorders
  • Back Disorders
  • Disorders of Soft Tissues
  • Disorders of Cervical Spine

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slide16

Genitourinary Disorders

  • Menstrual disorders
  • Disorders of cervix, vagina, vulva
  • Disorders of the urethra
  • Pain associated with female genital organs

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slide17

Reproductive Health Concerns

  • Contraception
  • Pregnancy/Lactation
  • Infertility/Birth Defects/Miscarriages
  • Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

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slide18

Mental Health Disorders

  • Adjustment reaction
  • Depressive disorders
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Nondependent abuse of drugs

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slide19

Military Trauma among Female Veterans

  • OEF/OIF female Veterans may experience both Military Sexual Trauma (MST) and combat trauma
  • 20% of female OEF/OIF Veterans accessing VA health care screened positive for MST
  • Combat trauma rates not yet known
  • Survivors of childhood abuse are at risk for
  • re-traumatization, depression, and substance use

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mission women veterans health strategic health care group
Mission: Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group

Ensure that all women Veterans receive equitable, high-quality, and comprehensivehealth care services in a sensitive and safe environment at all VA facilities

Be a national leader in the provision of health care for women Veterans, thereby raising the standard of care for all women

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“Since the Revolutionary War, America’s women have earned America’s gratitude and respect for their contributions to the military and to the nation.

VA will continue to improve our benefits and services for women Veterans as we transform into a 21st century organization.”

– Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki

March 10, 2010

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full time women veterans program managers wvpms
Full-time Women Veterans Program Managers (WVPMs)

Roles:

  • Improve advocacy
  • Increase outreach
  • Facilitate improvements in the quality of care
  • Help develop best practices

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revised vha handbook 1330 01 vha services for women veterans
Revised VHA Handbook 1330.01: “VHA Services for Women Veterans”

Outlines specific services that must be provided at VA facilities and CBOCs

Defines Comprehensive Primary Care for Women Veterans

Requires women to be seen by designated Women’s Health Primary Care Providers

Offers three primary care clinic models

Details safety and security requirements

Establishes systematic data collection process

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