Sunday, March 6, 2016

Female Veterans VA Health Moves Up From Basement

For female veterans, West Haven VA hospital provides visible space, more support
New Haven Register Veterans
Mark Zaretsky
March 5, 2016
Nearly 8 percent of the state’s veterans are women — and the numbers are growing larger.
WEST HAVEN
For years, the VA Connecticut Women’s Health Center was hidden in a basement of the Veterans Affairs medical center, its presence often known only to its staff and the women who used and depended on it.

Just like the clinic that provided for their health needs, Connecticut’s women veterans, themselves — a fraction of the overall veteran population of 200,000-plus in the state — were largely invisible.

These days, with more women serving in the military in more capacities, including on the battlefield, the needs are changing along with the numbers.

Nationally, about 10 percent of active armed forces are now women, the fastest-growing demographic within the military. Connecticut, as of the end of 2015, was home to 213,000 of the nation’s 22 million veterans — of which 17,000 (of 2.2 million nationally) were women, according to VA figures.
The VA has 4,300 female patients registered, of which 3,160 are active patients, said Vasquez, who works with VA Connecticut Women’s Program Manager Dr. Lynette Adams.
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