The U.S. Veterans Affairs Department is touting a two-pronged strategy to boost its care for women veterans.
VA details work to boost women's care
The department is rolling out "comprehensive women's clinics" nationwide, as well as training its primary-care clinicians to provide comprehensive care for female veterans, Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the Veterans Health Administration, said recently at a national veterans gathering. So far, the VA has placed such comprehensive women's clinics in about three-fourths of its medical centers, he said.
Petzel also touted during his presentation at the annual meeting of the American Legion the introduction of women veteran coordinators in every VA medical center.
The initiatives aim to address the expected growth in female veterans seeking VA care. The percentage of women VA patients is expected to rise to 10% from 6% within five years, Petzel said.
Additionally, the VA has added 7,000 mental-health professionals to its staff in the past five years to address the incidence of mental illness among veterans.
Finally, Petzel said, the VA will establish and fully implement a shared electronic health record with the Defense Department within five years, under the under the terms of a recent memorandum.
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