Cortez Masto, Boozman Introduce Bill to Improve Women Veterans’ Access to Care
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced the Servicewomen’s Health Transition Training Act of 2019 to help women transitioning from active duty to civilian life learn about the VA services available to them.
“Servicewomen face unique challenges as they transition from active duty, and many are unaware of the women-centered benefits and services – including mental health assistance, maternity care, cancer screenings and casework management – that the Veterans Health Administration provides,” said Cortez Masto. “Currently the average waiting time for women veterans to receive benefits from the VA after separating from service is almost three years. It’s crucial we close this gap in care, starting with increasing the knowledge of available VA healthcare resources. Our servicewomen and veterans have sacrificed so much for our country, and they should be empowered to access the full range of services they need to thrive.”
“I’ve heard directly from women veterans in Arkansas that access to care and lack of awareness about the availability of gender-specific care at the VA are barriers of tremendous concern,” said Boozman. “As the number of women veterans continues to increase, this problem will only compound unless we do everything we can to help them understand the healthcare and resources available to them when they transition out of active duty. This legislation is a simple way to help increase awareness of and access to VA healthcare options for women veterans so that more will utilize these services and benefit from them after separating from military service.”
The Women’s Health Transition Training Program is a Department of Veterans Affairs initiative that aims to educate women separating from the military about the services offered by the VA and offer guidance through the process. The program is currently piloted at 18 locations across the U.S. and serves the Air Force and the Army. During the pilot phase, the program reported a 98% satisfaction rate.
On August 14th, virtual sessions of the training program will be available for the first time to Nevada servicewomen. All servicewomen stationed in Nevada will be able to participate in a live briefing offered via webcam and will have the option to chat privately with an instructor. For more information or to register for the program, click here.
The Servicewomen’s Health Transition Training Act of 2019 is the first step towards expanding this important program to all military branches across the country. The bill directs the Secretary of Defense to work with Secretaries of the military departments to encourage female service members who are about to separate or retire from the Armed Forces to participate in the Women’s Health Transition Training program. The bill also calls for the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, to submit a report by February 2021 on all available metrics on the program and make recommendations for improvements.
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