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September/october 2009

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BY MARSHA FOUR, CHAIR
I would like to thank President John Rowan for the opportunity to again serve as chair of the Women Veterans Committee. The new and amended resolutions will be posted on the web page. The recent GAO report, “Preliminary Findings of the VA’s Provision of Health Care Services to Women Veterans,” also is on the web page. 
The Women Veterans Breakfast at the Convention drew a nice crowd. Our guest speaker was Daria Sommers, the co-director and producer of the documentary Lioness. She and her partner, Meg McLagan, who was unable to attend, were given VVA Women Veterans Committee Awards for Outstanding Documentary. Daria discussed the making of the film and the challenges facing the female military personnel who were selected for this history-making assignment in Iraq.
The October committee meeting will be exciting. The VA’s Cooperative Study Program has approved funding for a study of the long-term health outcomes for women’s service during the Vietnam era. This is the first comprehensive study ever done on these war-zone veterans. Joan Furey, a VVA life member and the former director of the VA’s Center for Women Veterans, is a consultant on the study. The four-year study begins in October.
Joan helped with our invitation to Dr. Kathy Magruder of the Medical University of South Carolina and the Charleston VAMC, along with her co-chairs, Dr. Han Kang and Dr. Amy Kilbourne from the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center. VVA will host this most important briefing and will invite representatives from other VSOs, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation, and WIMSA.  
I’d like to thank all members who responded to the committee’s survey. As we evaluate the results and totals, we are recognizing some very interesting numbers. Some are actually surprising. We will keep you posted.

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