VA Celebrates Mother's Day
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has always recognized and appreciated the special sacrifice that families make when military service crosses generations. In recent years, VA has watched with pride as this special generational service has increasingly extended to mothers and their daughters.
"It is inspiring to witness daughters following in their mothers' footsteps as they join the military, just as sons have long followed the brave example set by their fathers and grandfathers," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "On Mother's Day, VA is celebrating the Veteran mothers who have proudly shown their daughters and sons, and this Nation, the incredible capabilities of women."
Women Veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veteran population. Of the 22.7 million living Veterans, more than 1.8 million are women. They comprise nearly 8 percent of the total Veteran population and 6 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care services.
VA estimates women Veterans will constitute 10 percent of the Veteran population and 9.5 percent of VA patients by 2020.
"The number of women using VA health care has doubled in the last decade and we are working tirelessly to ensure they receive the high-quality care they have earned," said Patricia Hayes, Chief Consultant of the VA's Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group. "We must recognize the contribution of our women Veterans and deliver on our promise to give them the best care anywhere."
Women aged 45 and older make up the largest subpopulation seeking healthcare. To meet their unique needs, providers are trained in all aspects of women's health, including general primary care, osteoporosis management, heart disease, mental health care, menopausal services, and age-related issues such as diabetes. Preventive screenings for breast and cervical cancer are both areas in which VA excels. Soon, all VA facilities will offer comprehensive primary care for women from a single provider.
The Women Veterans Health Care program has made significant changes in a few short years to enhance the health care offered to eligible women Veterans. This progress includes:
* Adopting key policies to improve access and enhance services for women Veterans
* Implementing comprehensive primary care for women Veterans
* Conducting cutting-edge research on the effects of military service on women's lives
* Improving communication and outreach to women Veterans
* Providing mental health, homelessness and other services designed to meet the unique needs of women Veterans
For more information about VA programs and services for women Veterans, please visit: www.va.gov/womenvet and www.publichealth.va.gov/womenshealth.