HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — A new program to provide servicewomen a better understanding of the women’s health services available to them within the Department of Veteran Administration health care system is being offered at Hill AFB.
The Air Force partnered with the VA earlier this year to develop the Women’s Health Transition Pilot Program, which comprises of a course to address the health needs of servicewomen transitioning to civilian, Reserve or Guard status.
According to the VA, the leading motivation behind the course is related to the negative trends in health outcomes for the women veteran population. For example, women veterans face greater health-related challenges after military service compared to their male counterparts, including chronic pain, obesity, musculoskeletal issues, depression and suicide.
Program officials said servicewomen often do not realize what women’s-specific VA health services are available to help them address their health-related challenges. Additionally, fewer women seek services and support from VA and often do not connect with the VA on average until nearly 3 years post-military service or until mental or physical health issues have manifested.
The one-day course covers the major points along the transition process, focuses on how to enroll in and access health care services with the VA healthcare system.
This course is led by a female military veteran and highlights:
• The transformed culture of VA for both male and female patients
• Range of women’s health and mental health care services and available benefits
• Eligibility for and enrollment in VA health care
• Expectations for women to proactively seek health care services post-separation
• Logistical details such as facility structure, locations, and points of contact
• Available transition support services
The Women’s Health Transition Pilot Training Program runs through late spring 2019 and is being offered at four other installations including Scott AFB, Ill., Joint Base Andrews, Md., and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va.
Hill offered its first course in August. Upcoming courses are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 9, Nov. 27 and Dec. 3 at Airman and Family Readiness Center. Call 801-777-4681 for more information and to register.
(75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to this article.)