WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a new public service announcement (PSA) to let women Veterans know they’ve come to “The Right Place” when seeking VA health care.
“We want to send a very clear message to women Veterans that VA is here to meet your health care needs,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “It is important that women Veterans receive the high-quality health care and benefits they have earned through their service.”
The number of women using VA health care has doubled in the past decade and that number is expected to double again soon. The 30-second video PSA, produced by VA’s Women’s Health Services office, addresses key themes defined by Secretary Shinseki.
Key messages in the PSA include: assuring women Veterans that VA is ready to serve them; encouraging viewers to rethink assumptions that all Veterans are male; and reminding Americans that women Veterans are coming home, separating from service, or returning to Guard or Reserve status.
The PSA was developed for nationwide release along with a new employee awareness video created as part of VA’s ongoing efforts to change its culture to be more understanding and accommodating of women Veterans. It also promotes the recognition of women Veterans around Veterans Day, honoring their service to our country.
“Not all women who served their country identify as Veterans and many women Veterans are unaware that VA offers high quality women’s health care,” said Dr. Robert Petzel, Undersecretary for Health, Veterans Health Administration. “One of the most important aspects of our efforts to serve women Veterans is to make sure each one of them knows we’re here.”
Women serve in every branch of the military, representing 15 percent of today’s active duty military and nearly 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces. By 2020, VA estimates women Veterans will constitute 10 percent of the Veteran population.
VA is disseminating its culture-of-change message to employees and Veterans through a multi-faceted campaign, which includes a toolkit for outreach to women Veterans. To access additional campaign materials, visit www.womenshealth.va.gov/culture_change.asp. To access the toolkit, visit www.womenshealth.va.gov/toolkits.asp.
The PSA is available for viewing on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5FGlZ2uYiU and www.womenshealth.va.gov. Broadcast organizations interested in obtaining a broadcast-quality version of the PSA can download it by accessing the following link: https://downloads.va.gov/files/VA_OPIA/VDPDVAPSA/, then right clicking on “VDPDVAPSA5H.mov” and selecting “save target as.”