Inside the Center for Women Veterans
My Dear Sister Veterans,
I hope that you are all continuing to stay safe and take care of yourselves. So many of our sister Veterans live in rural areas with limited access to any assistance and if you live near one of our sister Veterans, I ask that you reach out to each other and ensure that each remains healthy and safe. If you know of a sister Veteran who needs help, let us know.
We are doing our best to reach you and we are working hard to build partnerships to ensure that we are able to reach even the most remote women Veterans, but we will also need you, who are already receiving benefits and services, to help them understand the importance of using VA services. Help make them aware of things like the use of Telehealth, Women Veterans Call Center, Veterans Crisis Hotline or support in your community. If you are not enrolled in VA, you can get Military Sexual Trauma care and support by contacting your closest VA.
July was a month full of great partnerships and idea sharing to accomplish a joint goal, serving our women Veterans. The Center is excited to announce the development of various outreach initiatives. More information will be shared as it becomes available, please check back soon.
The Center is working hard to #BringWomenVeteransHome2VA. There are women Veterans who have never used the VA or women Veterans who have used VA but have completely stopped. CWV wants to hear your voice on how to change that and #BringWomenVeteransHome2VA. We started using this hashtag to share our initiatives and spread awareness across the board. We invite you to use this hashtag on your social media to share our information.
Beginning in October through December, in eleven states to include the District of Columbia, the CWV will begin hosting virtual roundtables in partnership with members of the National Association of State Women Veteran Coordinators. Check our website for upcoming dates and states.
The Center is here to support you, and you can reach us during normal business hours firstname.lastname@example.org or like and follow us on our Facebook @VAWomenVets and Twitter. You can also visit our website for helpful information and to subscribe to our CWV Newsletter.
We are all facing many things during this really difficult time, but please, if you need help talk to someone.
VA is open for business and if you need care, please contact your local VA Medical Center FIRST as they are the closest to you. You can also call or text the Women Veterans Call Center at 1-855-VA-WOMEN (829-6636) or chat online.
For Your Immediate Information:
VA has also expanded its Mental Health services by offering Tele-mental health care. Talk to your primary care provider (or send a message via Secure Messaging on MyHealtheVet. You can also call the Crisis Hot Line at 1-800-273-8255.
Remember…we are here for you.
All The Best,
Jacquelyn Hayes-Byrd, Executive Director
Center For Women Veterans
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington D.C.
August 19, 2020
2020 National Summit on Women Veterans Issues - Postponed
I hope you are all doing well and staying safe during this time of uncertainty and change. I want to personally send this note to let you know how appreciated you are as well as to let everyone know that we here at VA continue to work on your behalf to ensure that your needs are met. We here at the Center for Women Veterans (CWV) always strive to put the safety of our employees, Veterans and our partners first. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone the CWV 2020 Women Veterans Summit originally scheduled for October 2020 until 2021. We will be sure to follow up with you to ensure that you have a new 2021 Save the Date once it is locked in.
The Center for Women Veterans was established by Congress in November 1994 by Public Law (P.L.) 103-446.
- To monitor and coordinate VA’s administration of health care and benefits services, and programs for women Veterans.
- To serve as an advocate for a cultural transformation (both within VA and in the general public) in recognizing the service and contributions of women Veterans and women in the military.
- To raise awareness of the responsibility to treat women Veterans with dignity and respect.
- The Director serves as primary advisor to the Secretary on the Department policies, programs, and legislation that affect women Veterans.
- Monitor and coordinate with internal VA offices on their delivery of benefits and services to women Veterans.
- Liaison with other Federal agencies, state and local agencies and organizations, and non-government partners.
- Serve as a resource and referral center for women Veterans, their family and their advocates.
- Educate VA staff on women Veterans military contributions.
- Ensure that outreach materials portray and target women Veterans with images, messages, and branding in the media.
- Promote recognition of women Veterans’ military service and contributions by sponsoring activities and special events.
- Coordinate meetings of the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans.
- African American History Month 2020 - On February 11, 2020 the Center for Women Veterans and the Center for Minority Veterans partnered to host a Special Screening of "The Six Triple Eight; No Mail, Low Morale."
- Women Veterans with Disabilities are Valued - In April 2019, the Center for Women Veterans highlighted, “Women Veterans with Disabilities are Valued” to raise national awareness of the contributions of women Veterans with disabilities and to tell their story of resilience.
- Women Veteran Trailblazers Initiative - Each year CWV sponsors an annual campaign to celebrate the contributions of women Veterans. The 2019 Campaign launched on March 6, 2019, in honor of Women’s History Month and will continue throughout the year to celebrate women Veterans’ contributions during and after military service.
- Pink Fridays - VA’s Center for Women Veterans recognized the strength and resiliency of Breast Cancer survivors by wearing pink on Fridays in October 2018.
- Nationwide Baby Shower - To honor and support Veterans welcoming new babies into their families in 2018, VA hosted the very first Nationwide Baby Shower for Veterans in May 2018!
- Women Veteran Athletes Initiative - To raise national awareness of the service, diversity, and resilience of women Veterans, in March 2018 VA’s Center for Women Veterans hosted an exhibit featuring 10 women Veteran Athletes in 10 VAMCs nationwide, after which it traveled to additional facilities.
- Women Veterans Art Exhibit - 10 women Veteran artists had their art exhibited at VA medical centers around the country in 2017. VA’s Center for Women Veterans partnered with Veteran Artist Program (VAP) on this initiative.
- 2017 National Women Veterans Summit
The 2017 National Women Veterans Summit took place in Houston, Texas, on August 25-26, 2017. The women Veterans population accounts for 10 percent of U.S. Veterans, and that number is expected to grow to 15 percent by 2030.
- “State of Women Veterans” Social Media Campaign
From September-November 2016, VA conducted a “State of Women Veterans” social media campaign during which we provided weekly segments to explore issues impacting women Veterans and what we are doing to support women Veterans as they face these issues.
- 2015 Women Veterans Campaign
The Center for Women Veterans led a Women Veterans Campaign. The Campaign consisted of forums, sessions, and workshop events in the five VA Districts, from June through September 2015. Events showcased benefits and services for women Veterans.
- 2011 National Training Summit on Women Veterans
- 2010 Forum on Women Veterans
The Secretary of Veterans Affairs hosted “A Forum on Women Veterans,” to engage and educate Veterans service organizations and women Veteran advocates about enhancements in VA services for women Veterans.
- 2008 National Training Summit on Women Veterans
- 2004 National Summit on Women Veterans
- 2004 National Summit on Women Veterans Issues
- P.L. 106-419, “Veterans Benefits and Healthcare Improvement Act of 2000,” authorized special monthly compensation for women Veterans with a service connected mastectomy. It also authorized benefits to children born of mothers who served in Vietnam and who have certain types of birth defects.
- P.L. 107-330, “Veterans Benefits Act of 2002,” authorized special monthly compensation for women Veterans who lost 25 percent or more of tissue from a single breast or both breasts in combination (including loss by mastectomy or partial mastectomy) or has received radiation of breast tissue.
- P.L. 108-422, “Veterans Health Programs Improvement Act of 2004” authority permanently to extend Military Sexual Trauma counseling and treatment to active duty service members or active duty for training.
- P.L. 110-186, “Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act” established a Women Veterans business Training Resource Program.
- P.L. 111-163, “Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010,” provides contract for a comprehensive study on barriers to health care for women Veterans, pilot program to provide group readjustment counseling in retreat settings for newly separated women combat Veterans, mandates inclusion of recently separated women on Advisory Committees for Women Veterans, and requires VHA to carry out a 2 year pilot program to assess feasibility and advisability of offering child care to Veterans.