SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Women’s Health Services Office has partnered with the Air Force Women’s Initiative Team to develop the VA Women’s Health Transition Pilot Training.
This program, which began implementing training sessions at Air Force bases in July 2018, intends to address the health needs of servicewomen transitioning out of the military.
The leading motivation behind these trainings is the negative trends in health outcomes for the female veteran population. For example, female veterans face greater health-related challenges after military service compared to their male counterparts, including: chronic pain, obesity, musculoskeletal issues, depression and suicide.
Often, female veterans do not understand what services are available to help them address their health-related challenges. Women are less likely seek services and support from the VA and often do not connect with the VA until an average of 2.7 years post-military, or until mental and physical health issues have manifested.
This program aims to provide servicewomen with a deeper understanding of the services available to them within the VA health care system and the VA health care enrollment process for continuation of health care services.
The training discusses the major points along the female veteran’s transition journey (see figure), focusing on how to enroll in and access health care services at VA. As well as the range of women’s health and mental health care services, eligibility for enrollment in VA health care, expectations for women to proactively seek health care services post-separation, transition assistance, and logistical details such as facility structure, locations, and points of contact.
The VA is piloting this program at five Air Force bases, including Scott Air Force Base, IL, Hill AFB, UT, Andrews AFB, MD and the Pentagon, VA, until spring 2019.
The afternoon session of the training at Scott AFB includes a presentation by St. Louis VA Medical Center staff to provide specific information about local services and facilities to help participants understand how the VA could best meet their health care needs.
At Scott AFB, there are a number of upcoming opportunities for transitioning servicewomen to take the training. The upcoming sessions are on October 29 and December 4. All sessions will take place at the Scott Airman & Family Readiness Center at 404 W. Martin Street Building 1650 Scott AFB, IL 62225 from 0830 to 1600. To sign-up register online through Appointment Plus https://booknow.appointment-plus.com/4b6q1jqe/