Nationwide Release Encourages Public to Join VA Culture Change
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs is taking its internal culture-change message to the public with a new video about the vital role women play in the military and the importance of providing women veterans with high quality health care.
VA’s Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group recently completed a 60-second public service announcement (PSA) that challenges viewers to rethink pre-conceived notions about women veterans. This dynamic video features images of women in service to our country: they drive supply trucks, participate in reconnaissance missions, walk safety patrols, and operate helicopter machine guns.
“When these brave women complete their service and become veterans, we want them to know that VA is there to meet their health care needs,” said Dr. Patricia Hayes, Chief Consultant of the VA’s Women Veterans Health Strategic Health Care Group. “At the same time, we want the public to recognize the contributions of women veterans and the benefits they have earned through their service to the Nation.”
The PSA is available for viewing on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=BOP5DCgjxPE and www.va.gov. Broadcast organizations interested in obtaining a broadcast-quality version of the PSA should contact VA’s Office of Public Affairs (202-461-7600).
The number of women using VA has doubled in the past decade, and that increase is expected to continue into the next decade.
More than half of the women using VA health care have a service-connected disability. These range from combat PTSD to missing limbs. The PSA gives a sampling of the service-connected disabilities women veterans must cope with on a daily basis.
The PSA was developed for nationwide release from a new employee orientation video—available atwww.womenshealth.va.gov—created as part of VA’s ongoing efforts to change its culture to be more understanding and accommodating of women veterans and honor the important service they have given our country.
“VA’s goal is to provide the highest quality care for every veteran, regardless of gender. Part of this initiative has been educating staff so they understand and appreciate that it is their job to make sure women veterans receive the best care anywhere,” said Hayes.
In addition to new employee orientation, VA is spreading its culture-of-change message to current employees through posters, conferences, and e-mail messaging. VA health care providers are all given the opportunity to participate in a ground-breaking mini-residency program in Women’s Health for Veterans. This program has already educated more than 1,100 VA providers on the latest knowledge in gender-specific health care.