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VA Capitol Health Care Network


Bringing "Joy" To Women Veterans

Shannon Beard, RN and domiciliary clinic charge nurse, sits with Joy Phillips to discuss the health care needs of women Veterans in the domiciliary clinic.

Shannon Beard, RN, sits with Joy Phillips to discuss the health care needs of women Veterans in the domiciliary clinic.

By Lauren Winebrenner
Monday, March 23, 2015

Joylynn “Joy” Phillips, RN-BC, BSN, MS, NEA-BC, is the new Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) Women Veterans Program Manager.

A Baltimore native, Phillips has an appreciation for her blue collar upbringing and worked hard to put herself through nursing school. She learned early on in her career that she had a love and affinity for human behavior, which gave her a passion to work in mental health.

“After working at hospitals in Baltimore including Johns Hopkins and Maryland General, my husband and I made the choice to raise our family in beautiful Martinsburg, West Virginia,” said Phillips. “I began working at Shepherd University as an on-call nurse, and eventually became a part of the Women’s Health program at the university.” This gave her a diversified background in family planning, sexual assault prevention and advocacy, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender health care needs and behavioral health.

Phillips recognizes the need and importance of specialized care for women Veterans.

“Women Veterans are a unique population,” she said. “And what we also need to remember is that not all Women Veterans are the same.” It is not a ‘one size fits all’ program.

There are a lot of new projects and initiatives on the horizon for the Women Veterans Health Program at the Martinsburg VAMC, including a partnership with Walter Reed National Medical Center to have a gynecologist come on site once a week to provide specialty gynecologic care, and plans to expand the clinic to provide more space and services.

Phillips will hit the ground running to work on these projects and grow the clinic to where it needs to be, but stresses importance on relationship building and making the clinic more approachable.

“Healing takes place in relationships with people,” said Phillips. “The success and future of this program is dependent upon us building a sense of community.” There is nothing women can’t do when we are all supportive of each other.


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