Women’s veterans health care

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By Donald Mustard

Women veterans are eligible for the same benefits as male veterans.  Comprehensive health services are available to all women veterans including primary care, specialty care, mental health care and reproductive health care services.

    The following questions and answers should be helpful to the woman seeking VA healthcare assistance.

    1. What services are available to women veterans?  A full continuum of comprehensive health care including health promotion is available at VA medical facility convenient to you. 

    2. How do I access the system for service?  By completing VA Form 10-10EZ to enroll in the VA health care program.  Also you can call 877-222-8387 or access the internet at www.va.gov.org.

    3. How and where do I find historical information on women veterans?  Contact www.womensmemorial.org.

    4. How do I get gender specific services?  Contact your nearest VA health care facility to speak with the women Veterans Program Manager.  Two of these are the Lynchburg clinic, 434-316-5000 and Salem VAMC at 540-982-2463 Ext 2030.

    5. How do I contact a coordinator for women veterans who are homeless with children?  (See item 4 above.)

    6. Are VA services authorized for women veterans who were involuntarily discharged from service due to pregnancy prior to May 1974?  Contact your healthcare facility using the contact information in item 4 above.

    7. What is the process for getting quality care issues addressed?  Contact the Women Veterans Program manager at your nearest VA facility.  (See item 4 above for contact information.)

    8. How do I get a clinic appointment?  Contact your clinic for an appointment however, you may be advised to first complete an enrollment application for VA health care. (VA Form 10-10EZ is available on line at www.va.gov.org, and any VA facility or from the service office listed at the end of this article.

    9. Where can I get impartial psychiatric care as a women veteran?  Most VA Medical centers have inpatient metal health programs.  Call VAMC Salem at 540-982-2463 ext 2030 for details.

    10. How do I get evaluated for nursing home care?  First you must enroll for VA healthcare benefits and then ask for an evaluation for nursing home care.  (See item 9 for contact information.)

    11. What happens when a veteran has obstetrics related emergency prior to enrolling in the VA healthcare program?  If a woman is enrolled and VA knows she is pregnant, fee-basis care could be authorized in advance.  (See item 9 for contact information.)

    12. Why doesn’t VA deliver babies?  VA has no authority to provide care to newborn infants; VA covers pregnancy cases through arrangements with community providers. (For contact information see item 9 above.)  

    For additional information concerning this article or any other VA benefit call Don Mustard, Service Officer for Lynchburg based DAV Chapter 8, VFW Post 8184, and American Legion Post 16 at 434-316-0229.  The office, located in the Marine Corps League Bldg at 2337 Lakeside Drive is open Tuesday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for walk-ins and Thursday by appointment.

    Correction:  The article last month listed an incorrect phone number of 434-237-0229 for the service office.  That was my error and I apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused.  The correct number is 434-316-0229.

    Sources for this article were; VFW Service Officer Guide, 2009; Federal Benefits for Veterans, 2009; www.va.gov/womanvet/; www.publichealth.va.gov.