CINCINNATI, OH –The Cincinnati VA Medical Center (VAMC) dedicated the Women Veterans Health Center during a ceremony this morning. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, who cosponsored the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act, released the following statement after the event:
“It is our responsibility to provide all of our nation’s veterans with the benefits they’ve earned with their service,” Brown said. “Female veterans face unique barriers to critical health care and benefits. I applaud the continued innovation and dedication of the Cincinnati VAMC to our nation’s veterans. The Women Veterans Health Center delivers on the promise made when we passed the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act.”
The Cincinnati VAMC Women Veterans Health Center includes a private waiting area, a mammography room, a surgical procedure room, several examination rooms, and a mental health office.
About Cincinnati VAMC
- Today, there are over 2 million women veterans in the U.S., comprising 8 percent of the total veteran population.
- The Cincinnati VAMC serves over 2,300 women veterans, whose enrollment has increased by over 25 percent in the past 5 years (largely due to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan).
- The largest group of women veterans today served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; women comprise 11.3 percent of all veterans from these wars.
- As the number of women in the military increases, it is estimated that 10 percent of all veterans will be women by the year 2020, and that the number of women seeking VA services will double within the next two years.
The Cincinnati VA’s Women Veterans Program works to ensure that timely, equitable, high-quality, and comprehensive health care services are provided in a sensitive and safe environment and have adopted the following guiding principles:
- Comprehensive primary care;
- Provided by proficient and dedicated primary care clinicians;
- Focused on safety, dignity, and sensitivity to gender-specific needs;
- Offering the right care in the right place at the right time; and
- Using state-of-the-art health care equipment and technology.
In the new Women Veterans Health Center, veterans will be able to receive primary care and gender-specific specialty care in the same physical location and with the same providers in order to optimize care delivery. The Center becomes the “medical home” for women veterans, where they are cared for by the same team over time and where they develop relationships with their medical providers in a safe, caring, and specialized environment.
The Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act—passed in the 111th Congress—requires the VA to comprehensively assess the effectiveness of VA services and programs for women veterans and to submit a plan on how the VA will address the health care needs of women. It will also require the VA to conduct a study on the health consequences for women veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, it will authorize the VA to provide neonatal care, train mental health professionals to provide mental health services for sexual trauma, develop a child care pilot program, and staff each VA medical center with a full-time women veterans’ program manager.