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New Report Finds Lack Of Privacy In Female Veteran Health Care
In 2014, a study by the VA Inspector General found that 20.4% of community-based outpatient clinics run by the Veterans Health Administration failed to provide adequate privacy for female veterans.
That number dropped to 14.3% in 2015, but still has a ways to go, according to a new report released June 19.
The findings come amid rising concerns from veterans service organizations that more needs to be done to ensure adequate services are available for women who rely on the VA for health care.
“The Veterans Health Administration is a large organization and ongoing training is expected,” Lou Celli, director of veterans affairs and rehabilitation at The American Legion National HQ, told Task & Purpose. “There are more women veteran specific clinics at VA medical centers today than ever before and while still not perfect, with the proper funding, we are confident that VA will be able to provide appropriate gender specific facilities at all VA medical locations.”
In 2014, nearly 8% of doors did not have manual or electronic door locks for the examination rooms used for women veterans, and that number only went down a few points to 5.4% in 2015. And 16 of the 93 clinics had physical settings where gowned female veterans couldn’t access restrooms without entering public areas, with “no alternative measures were in place“ in 2014; in 2015, the number dropped to four.
Still, much of the gender-specific medical care required by female veterans is carried out within VHA facilities, meaning regardless of the privacy issues, more women are trusting the VA to handle their health care needs.
The report found that 82.5% of of gender-specific care visits occurred within VA facilities, while only 17.5% were handled outside. Pregnancy was the one exception.
“We also noted that patients with pregnancy-related issues had the majority of their visits at non-VA sites rather than VA sites, [but] this was the only subcategory of gender-specific care where we found this to be true,” the report reads.
While there is still need for further improvement, VHA appears to have taken some steps to ensure that it is better at addressing the needs of its female veterans, who make up about 10% of the overall veteran population. That number is expected to grow as women currently represent nearly 15% of service members.
The report did not have any specific criticisms for VHA; however, it did recommend that the VA’s acting under secretary for health, Dr. Poonam Alaigh, review and update the requirements for female veteran providers and make note of how and when those requirements are met by VA facilities.
“[We will continue] to evaluate the quality, access, and availability of safe and appropriate healthcare for women and are very pleased with the progress that VA has made over the years,” Celli added.
More than 7,500 boots on display at Fort Bragg this month served as a temporary memorial to service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.
The boots — which had the service members' photos and dates of death — were on display for Fort Bragg's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's annual Run, Honor and Remember 5k on May 18 and for the 82nd Airborne Division's run that kicked off All American Week.
"It shows the families the service members are still remembered, honored and not forgotten," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.
After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.
The Navy's latest Northwest Training and Testing draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment (NWTT EIS/OEIS), first detailed by the Seattle Times on Friday, reveals that " the kinetic energy weapon (commonly referred to as the rail gun) will be tested aboard surface vessels, firing explosive and non-explosive projectiles at air- or sea-based targets."
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
An NSA cyber weapon is reportedly being used against American cities by the very adversaries it was meant to target
In less than three years after the National Security Agency found itself subject to an unprecedentedly catastrophic hacking episode, one of the agency's most powerful cyber weapons is reportedly being turned against American cities with alarming frequency by the very foreign hackers it was once intended to counter.
The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.
Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.
"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.