Active Duty and Veteran Women's Health

Active duty and veteran women face unique health needs related to their military service. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health (OWH) is working to increase awareness of these health needs and provide resources to active duty and veteran women to improve their health and wellness.

OWH is also partnering with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to address education and training needs of health professionals who care for active duty and veteran women.

OWH has coordinated the following events and resources.

 

Women Veterans' Health Panel Discussion

Molly Mae Potter leads a discussion with women veterans
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In this 30-minute panel discussion, active duty and veteran women share their personal health challenges and advice for other women transitioning out of the military. Learn what VA resources are available to improve women's health.


National Meeting on Active Duty and Veteran Women's Health

On August 27, 2018, OWH hosted a National Meeting on Active Duty and Veteran Women's Health in partnership with SAMHSA, VA, and DoD. This meeting brought together health professionals, researchers, and representatives from nonprofit organizations to share best practices and new research on delivering quality care to active duty and veteran women, particularly in community clinical settings. View the meeting sessions in this 6-part video series.

Part 1: Overview

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., addresses the meeting attendees
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Part 2: Physical Health

Dr. Karen Goldstein addresses the meeting attendees
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Part 3: Pain Management and Substance Abuse

Vanila M. Singh, M.D., MACM, addresses meeting attendees
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Part 4: Sexual Assault/Military Sexual Trauma

Attendees at the National Meeting on Active Duty and Veteran Women's Health
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Part 5: Mental Health

Cicely Burrows McElwain presents at the National Meeting
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Part 6: Social Support

Panelists speaking at the National Meeting on Active Duty and Veteran Women's Health
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Blog Interviews and Spotlights on Veteran Women's Health

The OWH blog has featured several interviews and Spotlight on Women's Health stories that share veteran women's personal testimonies of transitioning out of active service, overcoming health challenges, and taking steps to maintain their mental and physical health. The blog posts also highlight the federal government's work to address the unique health challenges of women in the military.

  • Molly Mae Potter, former Ms. Veteran America 2016, shares her story about being in the Air Force and then transitioning to civilian life.
  • Dr. Kate Hendricks Thomas, Marine Corps veteran and professor of public health at Charleston Southern University, discusses her research on making the transition from soldier to civilian easier for military women.
  • Commander Carmen Fisher, Navy veteran and U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps officer, talks about her life in the Navy and how she worked through her anxiety about reentering civilian life after being discharged.
  • Dr. Sally Haskell, Deputy Chief Consultant and National Director of Comprehensive Women's Health for the Office of Women's Health Services in the Veterans Health Administration, VA, discusses the unique risks and exposures that veteran women face that can affect their health and health care.
  • Kayla M. Williams, Army Veteran, Former Director, Center for Women Veterans, VA, shares her experiences and how VA is working to address the health of veteran women.