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VA Salt Lake City Health Care System

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Women Veterans

About:

Did you know that women are the fastest growing group within the Veteran population? There is indeed a cultural transformation going on throughout the entire VHA. Women Veterans will notice the physical environment is changing to include family bathrooms, baby changing tables accessible to both male and female veterans, a Mother’s Room for Veterans who are breastfeeding, and children play areas. VA provides care to women Veterans of all ages and conflicts and understands the needs of our women Veteran’s better than anyone else. Our staff is highly trained and skilled in women’s healthcare issues, we have innovative programs and services to provide quality care in an environment that ensures the dignity, privacy, and safety of every Veteran.

Facts and Statistics about Women Veterans

  • Women currently comprise approximately 10% of all living US Veterans and is projected to rise to 15% by 2035.
  • The number of women Veterans using VHA services has been increasing by 7% per year.
  • In FY 2011, the average age of women Veterans was 48 years, compared to 63 years for their male counterparts.
  • Jan 24, 2013, the ban on women serving in combat was removed. The roles for women have changed and now include: gunners, police, pilots, truck drivers, & fuel suppliers.
  • In FY 2014 musculoskeletal issues, mental health disorders, and nervous system disorders were the top three diagnostic categories for women Veterans treated by VHA.
  • About 1 in 5 women seen in VHA respond "yes" when screened for Military Sexual Trauma (MST). 
  • Women are 30% more likely to have PTSD than their male counterpart, 2 times as likely to be diagnosed with depression, 4 times more likely to have substance abuse, 2.7 times more likely to be unemployed, and 7 times more likely to be homeless.

Eligibility and Enrollment:

For local eligibility information, call the Eligibility Benefits Office at (801) 584-2585.

To receive VA health care benefits, all veterans are encouraged to enroll in the VA Health Care System. Veterans can apply for enrollment at any VA health care facility or veterans benefits office. An official notification regarding the veteran's priority group will be mailed to the veteran after VA verifies enrollment information and processes the application. Veterans can apply for VA health care enrollment and other Veterans benefits by completing VA Form 10-10EZ. Apply online at www.1010ez.med.va.gov or visit, call, or write to any VA health care facility or Veterans’ benefits office. You can also call the VA Health Benefits Call Center toll free at 877-222-VETS (8387), or get more information online about VA benefits (www.vba.va.gov) and eligibility (http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/). - See more at: http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/WOMENSHEALTH/programoverview/faqs.asp#two

Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT)

PACT is a patient center team approach to providing you with quality health care. Enrolled Veterans will choose a PACT to provide comprehensive primary care. This means that one provider and team provide all the woman’s primary care including preventative care, acute care, and care for chronic illnesses. The women’s health primary care provider and team also coordinate care received by the woman Veteran from other providers. This includes referrals to sub-specialty services such as gynecology and mental health.

Maternity, Gynecology, Infertility and Newborn Benefits

VA Salt Lake City Health Care System offers non-VA funded prenatal & maternity care, limited newborn benefits, and parenting classes.  A wide range of gynecology services are available.  Infertility evaluation and treatment is available to enrolled veterans and In-Vitro Fertilization is available only to those veterans who qualify. For more information about these services and limited infertility and newborn benefits call the Women Veterans Program Manager at 801-582-1564 Ext. 2151.  

Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is the term that the Department of Veterans Affairs uses to refer to sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment that occurred while the Veteran was in the military. Both women and men can experience MST during their service. Special services are available to women who have experienced MST. VA provides free, confidential counseling and treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to MST.

Please contact the local Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator for more information and treatment options at (801) 582-1565, Ext. 2719 or visit http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/WOMENSHEALTH/trauma.asp

If you are in crisis or need immediate help, please contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, then PRESS 1 

Chronic Pain: Opioid Education and Monitoring Program

Veterans are twice as likely to die from an accidental overdose when compared to their non-veteran counterpart. The tide is turning away from increasing opioid doses, and opioids as the sole treatment for chronic pain. Evidence suggests that in addition to opioid medications, incorporating a multi-modality approach to include holistic and integrative programs such as yoga and mindfulness, improves daily functioning and is more effective than opioids alone.

The Women’s Service at VASLC offers veterans taking opioids for chronic pain, education, safe monitoring, and referrals to holistic and integrative programs at the end of class. The focus of the Program is safety and team work, the patient is central. Please contact (801) 582-1565 x2685 for more information.

Chronic Pain: Musculoskeletal Evaluation and Injection Clinic

The Women’s Musculoskeletal Clinic at VASLC is an opportunity for women Veterans to work with specialists who will evaluate their chronic pain and together develop a treatment plan. When appropriate, steroid joint injections, trigger point injections, and battlefield acupuncture are administered by trained and competent staff. This clinic is the gatekeeper to further radiology test such as xrays and MRI’s as well as referrals to surgical and other specialty services. Please contact (801) 582-1565 x2685 for more information.


LGBT Program

LGBT Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in accessing quality healthcare. The VA is developing policies, provider-education programs, and services to ensure high-quality, patient-centered care for LGBT Veterans. The VA strives to be a national leader in the provision of health care to LGBT Veterans and assure that care is provided in a sensitive, safe environment at VA Health Facilities nationwide. LGBT web-page Please contact the local LGBT Program Coordinator for more information at 801-582-1565, Ext. 2764

Activities & Events for Women Veterans

The SLC Women Veterans Program has ongoing Trauma Sensitive Yoga, aqua therapy, mindfulness, walking, nutrition, and other classes. In addition, we offer group programs such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain, and Living Well with Chronic Conditions. We work closely with our National Abilities Center partners to provide outdoor and indoor activities, special events, and winter and summer retreats for women Veterans.  If you would like to have more information, please contact the Women Veterans Program Manager at (801) 582-1565 x 2151.

Veterans Crisis Line

If you are in crisis or need immediate help, please contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, then PRESS 1 


Women Veterans Call Center

The Women Veterans Call Center was created to increase women’s knowledge of VA benefits and services, increase enrollment, and increase utilization of health care services. The operators are trained to provide information on VA’s benefits and services. The Veteran will be referred to a Women Veteran Program Manager (WVPM), Health Eligibility Center, Veterans Benefits Administration and suicide and homeless crisis lines as needed.

The phone number for the WVCC is 1-855-VA-WOMEN or 1-855-829-6636. Please allow a 30-day follow-up call to the Veteran from the WVPM.

Hours of operation: M-F 8:00AM- 10:00PM, Saturday 8:00AM- 6:30PM.

Contact Us:

The Women Veterans Program is available to assist our female Veterans:
The Women Veterans Clinic (801) 582-1565, ext. 2685
Women’s Clinic Mental Health Social Worker - (801) 582-1565   ext. 5413
Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC’s) http://www.saltlakecity.va.gov/locations/index.asp
Women Veterans Program Manager- (801) 582-1565 x5423
Women Veterans Program Managers are at each VA Medical Center nationwide and are designated to assist women Veterans. http://www.womenshealth.va.gov/

Womens Primary Care and Specialty Care:

Our Women Veterans Program Manager advises and advocates for women Veterans. She can help coordinate all the services you may need, from primary care to specialized care for chronic conditions or reproductive health. VA health care for women Veterans includes:

Honor, Loyalty, Pride in Service, Patriot, Leader, Military Experience. VA knows women Veterans - what's invisible to most is visible to VA

Primary Care

  • General care includes health evaluation and counseling, disease prevention, nutrition counseling, weight control, smoking cessation, and substance abuse counseling and treatment as well as gender-specific primary care, such as cervical cancer screens (Pap smears), breast cancer screens (mammograms), birth control, preconception counseling, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, menopausal support (hormone replacement therapy).
  • Mental health includes evaluation and assistance for issues such as depression, mood, and anxiety disorders; intimate partner and domestic violence; sexual trauma; elder abuse or neglect; parenting and anger management; marital, caregiver, or family-related stress; and post-deployment adjustment or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Women-and men as well-may experience repeated sexual harassment or sexual assault during their military service. Special services are available to women who have experienced MST. VA provides free, confidential counseling and treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to MST. More information is available about MST from the national Women Veterans Health Care program and the VHA Office of Mental Health.

Specialty Care

  • Management and screening of chronic conditions includes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, glandular disorders, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Reproductive health care includes maternity care, infertility evaluation and limited treatment; sexual problems, tubal ligation, urinary incontinence, and others. VA is prohibited by legislative authority from providing either in-vitro fertilization or abortion services.
  • Rehabilitation, homebound, and long-term care. VA referrals are given to those in need of rehabilitation therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, exercise therapy, recreational therapy, and vocational therapy. Homebound and long-term care services are available as well, limited to those meeting specific requirements.