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Women Veteran’s Health
12/29/09 - 04:20 PM
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Rebecca Underwood - bio
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click for larger image Panama City, Fla:

The face of those who need veteran’s health services looks a little different as more and more females enter military service.

Although women have been serving in the military for decades, the influx of female veterans in the recent years has made for some interesting changes in health care.

Mary-Anne Plaskon, the Women Veterans Program manager says it best, “That population of women veterans is probably, well, it’s a brand new population.”

From the first known wars, men have been protecting their homes and countries.  Although that premise has never changed, the faces of the people fighting for freedom have. 

More and more women are becoming United States veterans. 

Plaskon says, “We have an OEF, OIF population…Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. “

There are about six thousand female veterans.

Close to four hundred of them are in the Panama City area and served in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

That means it’s a new ball game for health care

Plaskon says, “We need separate exam rooms like this with privacy curtains and the trained professionals and providers in women’s health and nurses.  We need to be offering care for fertility needs, gynecology needs and pregnancy needs.”

Judy Kellly, a licensed practical nurse with the VA system for the past 11 years says when she stared she only had a couple female patients.  Now they hold clinics twice a month.

“I think we’re meeting their needs more.  Historically, women’s needs haven’t been addressed because it was more for the men, but now we have a lot more women.  We do all of their care and so as a woman, I’m really proud of the care we give them and our women really do like our care.”

The VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System covers Panama City, Eglin, Pensacola, Mobile, and Biloxi.

The VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System is hoping to start a monthly wellness program at both Eglin Air Force Base and Naval Support Activity. 

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