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VA grants will improve health care access for women veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently awarded 33 grants to VA facilities for projects that will improve emergency health care services for women veterans, expand women’s health education programs for VA staff, and offer telehealth programs to female Veterans in rural areas.

“Our goal is one hundred percent accessibility for women veterans who need our care,” said  Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “These new projects will improve access and quality of critical health care services for women.”

This is the largest number of one-year grants VA has ever awarded for enhancing women’s health services. VHA’s national Women’s Health Program Office, Office of Rural Health, and Office of Healthcare Transformation are jointly supporting the winning proposals.

Telehealth concepts that received grants involve tele-mental health, tele-gynecology, tele-pharmacy, and telephone maternity care coordination. The grant program is part of VA’s continuing effort to improve access and quality of care for the increasing number of women veterans seeking care at VA.

“We are committed to providing individualized, sensitive care to women veterans,” said VA Undersecretary for Health Robert A. Petzel. “These grant-funded projects enable VA to continue to enhance care for women veterans and exceed patient expectations.”

Education grants will expand mini-residency training for VA providers and nurses in primary care and emergency services to include topics such as gynecology and early obstetrics emergencies, military sexual trauma, and performing breast and pelvic examinations. Grants will also be used to upgrade emergency services for women Veterans in several VA health care facilities through the purchase of new gender-specific equipment and supplies and the development of protocols to aid in the management of common conditions in women.

Women serve in every branch of the military, representing 15 percent of today’s active duty military and nearly 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces. By 2020, VA estimates women veterans will constitute 10 percent of the veteran population.

Visit www.va.gov/womenvet and www.womenshealth.va.gov to learn more about VA programs and services for women veterans.

Trust Fund

The Trust Fund Grant has directed a change of rules. All requests for travel/lodging reimbursement must have the following: Printed copy of appointment, copy of receipt for gas payment and/or receipt of lodging payment. Payment from Trust Fund will be to the amount on receipts: No receipt-no payment.

Ensure you apply for Travel through VAMC Albuquerque, whenever possible.

If a veteran is eligible for VA Travel payments, no reimbursements are authorized through the Trust Fund Grant.

Benefits

For information on VA benefits, call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office, located at the Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center.

The office number is 264-4013, fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-3590, and e-mail is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for applications to VA programs or benefits for which the veteran may be entitled to enroll, and for filing in the Archuleta County VSO office.

Meetings

The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

American Legion Post 108: second Wednesday of the month, 7 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

American Legion Post 108 Ladies Auxiliary: second Tuesday of the month, 4 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

Veterans for Veterans: every Tuesday, 10 a.m., Quality Inn.

Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans: every other Monday, 6 p.m., St. Patrick’s Episcopal Parish Hall, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Contact Charlotte, 731-1025.

Point Man Ministry (veterans): every Thursday, 9 a.m., Crossroads Church, 1044 Park Ave.

Contacts

Durango VA Outpatient Clinic: 247-2214.

Farmington VA Center: (505) 327-9684.

The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans in crisis, as well as their family and friends 24/7, 365 days a year. Call (800) 273-8255, chat online, or text 838255.

This story was posted on January 31, 2013.