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West Texas VA Health Care System

 

Women Veterans

Our Mission is to ensure that our women Veterans receive timely, equitable, high-quality, comprehensive health care services in a sensitive and safe female-friendly environment with dignity and respect at all points of care.  Women will be assigned a provider of their preferred gender with continuity of care expected.  Comprehensive primary care services will be provided during a single visit by a single provider in a single Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT).

Our Vision is to be a model of clinical and organizational excellence by providing safe, patient-centered care, delivered by high performing staff in an environment of trust, respect, commitment and compassion.
We offer designated women Veterans providers at each location.  This is a primary care provider who is interested and proficient in women’s health.  A designated Women’s Health Primary Care Provider is preferentially assigned women Veterans within their primary care patient panels.  Our female Veterans can receive their annual female care during these appointments.  This care includes contraception counseling and care, sexually transmitted infection treatment, management of menopause-related concerns, screening for breast cancer and cervix, and osteoporosis.  All mammograms are done locally with a provider in the female Veterans community.

A new benefit women Veterans may not be aware of is the Maternity Benefit Package.  Eligible women Veterans can receive maternity care within 50 miles of where they live with a community provider.  This benefit covers the entire pregnancy up to their post-delivery visit and the first seven days of the newborn’s life.  Women who elect to breastfeed may receive a breast pump as well.
Women Veterans are offered the following services:

  • Women Veteran Wellness classes - First and third Fridays monthly from 1:00 - 3:00 PM on the 4th Floor, George H. O’Brien, Jr. VAMC, Big Spring, TX
  • Healthy Cooking Classes - 2nd Fridays monthly from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - presented by the West Texas VA Dietitians, for more information please contact Amy Halfmann or Linda Douglas at ext. 7067. Room 219, George H. O'Brien, Jr. VAMC, Big Spring, TX
  • Shared Medical Appointments:  A group medical appointment - Please contact your PACT provider for an upcoming class date and time.  This allows Veterans the opportunity to meet with their PACT team as a group with the same diagnosis or problem.
  • Littlest Heroes Baby Showers- A bi-annual event held in January and June hosted by the Women Veterans Program and Volunteer Services for our expecting or recently delivered new mommies!
  • Women Veteran Focus Groups - The groups are held at least quarterly as part of our outreach services.  These events are posted on our electronic boards in our waiting rooms.  Our goal is to share the benefits available to our eligible female Veterans as well as our many resources.
  • Annual Health Prevention Events - All women employees and women Veterans are invited and encouraged to attend the many annual events held at our facility locations annually.  Go Red for Women in February and September, Breast Cancer Awareness in October and Women’s History Month in March.
  • Military Sexual Trauma Treatment - Women Veterans may receive counseling and treatment for military sexual trauma with a provider within the facility or with a provider at one of our Veteran Centers.
  • Tele Health Visits - We understand that women today lead very busy lives and as a result we can offer Tele-Health visits from their home.  At request, a camera can be provided to enable a Veteran to see their provider from home or from a facility close to their home. 
  • Relaxation Room 4th Floor, George H. O’Brien, Jr. VAMC, Big Spring, TX - This is a private room available to our Veterans for individual relaxation time.  Simply check in with the clerk on the 4th floor to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Telephone Visits - Phone visits are an option for our Veterans.  These calls can take the place of a tradition face to face visit.  Your provider or nurse can take care of many questions and concerns over the phone, saving you a trip to the clinic!
  • Secure Messaging - This program is offered to all Veterans; it allows a Veteran to communicate with their team by computer and receive educational emails regarding upcoming events and view the calendar of events.

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.