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January/February 2010

red star bulletThe Veteran Departments : Leasing the Veterans Home | Universes in Wood | Warriors Remembered | President's Report | Letters | A Locator Success Story | Government Affairs | TAPS | Region 1 Report | Region 3 Report | Region 4 Report | Region 8 Report | Public Affairs Committee Report | The Faces of Agent Orange | Region 9 Report | Women Veterans Committee Report | PTSD/Substance Abuse Committee Report | Minority Affairs Committee Report | POW/MIA Affairs Committee Report | Agent Orange/Dioxin Committee Report | Veterans Healthcare Committee Report | Membership Affairs Committee Report | Veterans Benefits Committee Report | Veterans Support Foundation Report | Veterans Incarcerated Committee Report | Books In Review | Membership Notes | Locator | Reunions | Calendar

2010: Jan/Feb
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| may/june | july/Aug | sept/oct | Nov/DeC
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2007: Jan/Feb | MAR/APR | MAY/JUNE | july/aug | SEPT/OCT | Nov/DeC
2006: July/Aug | SEPT/OCT | nov/dec


At our committee meeting in October, we heard about the newly developed Long Term Health Outcomes of Military Women’s Service During the Vietnam Era. We invited several other veterans service organizations and women veteran advocates and foundations. Attending were representatives of: VA Center for Women Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Women’s Memorial Foundation, American Legion, Veterans of Modern Warfare, and Amvets.

Team members who discussed the study included study co-chairs Dr. Kathryn Magruder, Dr. Han Kang, and Dr. Amy Kilbourne and study members Dr. Grant Huang and Dr. Tracey Sepi, along with consultant Joan Furey, a life member of VVA and first Director of the VA Center for Women Veterans.  They provided the committee with information on this study, which was approved October 1. The VA will now seek approval by the Review Board on Human Studies. Outreach for the four-year study will begin soon. The study hopes to identify 10,000 women of the era. It is anticipated that interviews will begin in October 2010. 

The study aims include: to determine the prevalence of lifetime and current psychiatric conditions, including PTSD, among women veterans who served during the Vietnam Era; to characterize the physical health of women who served during the Vietnam Era; and to characterize the level of current disability in women who served during the Vietnam Era.

The study will include inquiry into autoimmune disorders as requested by this committee. The committee askes VVA State Councils and Chapters to help in this effort.

You will recall that the committee mailed a study to all VVA women veteran members. The results were very interesting. Of the over 900 surveys sent out, 40 percent responded. Worrisome was the fact that 178 were returned due to incorrect addresses. Please make sure that the VVA Membership department has your correct address.

Fifty-five percent stated that they use VA health care. Of those, 53 percent said they use it exclusively. In using the VA, 91 percent use it for primary care; 54 percent for OB/GYN; and 45 percent for mental health. Of the 45 percent not using VA, 25 percent either didn’t know they were eligible or said they were ineligible. Thirty percent used private insurers. Seventeen percent stated they didn’t use VA because of the quality of care.

Fifty percent stated they had filed a VA service-connected claim and 81 percent of these were granted an award (75 percent for medical conditions and 41 percent for mental health conditions).  Most startling to the committee was the fact that, despite our ongoing references and outreaches, 53 percent of the respondents said they were not aware that the VA Medical Centers had a Women Veteran Program Manager and 56 percent didn’t know about Regional Office Woman Veterans Coordinators. We will pass this information along to the VA.

Wishing you all a peace-filled New Year, we remain dedicated to the work of VVA and women veterans.



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