Most people are unaware that women are the fastest growing group within the veteran population. Because of this, the number of female veterans in the Veteran Affairs (VA) health-care system has nearly doubled over the last ten years. The numbers are only expected to increase over time.
This can pose a problem for veterans hospitals when it comes to treating women. Female veterans are normally sent to outpatient and women’s clinics for additional gynecological and wellness exams.
Eve Holzemer, DNP and adjunct instructor at SLU’s School of Nursing is also the Women Veterans Program Manager in St. Louis, Mo. It was clear to her measures needed to be taken to accommodate female veterans in the VA St. Louis Health Care System (VASLHCS). Holzemer has proposed a three-phased solution to expand the VA’s health-care program for women veterans in the St. Louis area:
- Partnering with practitioners to treat veterans in their area
- Streamlining processes to allow for same day examinations
- Increasing and improving complex services (electrosurgical excision procedures, hysteroscopy, prenatal services, etc.)
In this article, Holzemer describes in detail how the VASLHCS can take more of a comprehensive approach toward treatment, including coordinating medical care and social services.
Some renovations to the VA hospital at John Cochran will be completed as early as May 2013. Further renovations are expected to be completed in early 2015.