Entrenched, Sexist Culture At Many Veterans Hospitals Impeding Female Veterans From Seeking Care
Veterans are dismayed that they're being harassed when all they're trying to do is get health care. At a recent hearing with veterans agency officials, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) summed up the treatment of female constituents trying to obtain VA health care: “It’s like a construction site." In other news on veterans and the military: personalized medication regimens, a former VA secretary's new job, transgender rules for troops, and the high level of suicide among returning soldiers.
The New York Times:
Treated Like A ‘Piece Of Meat’: Female Veterans Endure Harassment At The V.A.
Corey Foster spent her Army career caring for wounded troops, both as a flight medic in the Iraq war and at Walter Reed hospital, so she looked forward to one of the most celebrated benefits of military service — health care for life from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Then she walked through the door at a V.A. medical center in Temple, Tex. “You felt like you were a piece of meat,” said Ms. Foster, 34, who retired as a sergeant. “Standing in line at the registration desk, I was getting comments from the male patients behind me, looking me up and down. It was a major source of discomfort.” (Steinhauer, 3/12)
VA, Sanford Health To Bring Free Pharmacogenetic Testing To 125 Sites
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is launching a massive effort to personalize veterans' medication regimens in partnership with Sanford Health, a 44-hospital system based in Sioux Falls, S.D, the two announced Tuesday. The program is based on pharmacogenetics, a field of study that uses patients' genetic profiles to predict how well they will respond to different drugs. The idea is to provide physicians with this analysis, so they can tailor medication regimens to each patient—this might mean finding which drug dosage will be most effective for a patient or switching a medication prescription to limit the likelihood of him or her experiencing an adverse side effect. (Cohen, 3/12)
Shulkin Joins Health Data Company ArmadaHealth's Board
Former Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin has joined the board of ArmadaHealth, a Maryland health data company that offers a database for patients to find physicians. President Donald Trump fired Shulkin last year from the top post at the VA, where the former secretary also served under President Barack Obama. Prior to the VA, Shulkin was CEO of hospitals including New York City's Beth Israel and New Jersey's Morristown Medical Center. (Luthi, 3/12)
The Associated Press:
New Pentagon Transgender Rule Sets Limits For Troops
The Defense Department has approved a new policy that will largely bar transgender troops and military recruits from transitioning to another sex, and require most individuals to serve in their birth gender. The memo outlining the new policy was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, and it comes after a lengthy and complicated legal battle. (3/12)
VA Struggles To Unlock The Reasons Behind High Suicide Rates Among Older Veterans
Much of the focus by the Veterans Health Administration has been on the growing number of younger veterans who commit suicide. However, statistics show that the suicide rate for elderly veterans is higher than that of non-veterans of the same age. (Walsh, 3/11)