In an effort to better address the medical needs of the thousands of women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) started a "mini residency program" to refresh doctors and nurse practitioners, many of whom are more accustomed to treating male veterans, on women's healthcare. Approximately 1,100 health care providers have completed the course, which offers training on pelvic and breast exams, as well as services for women veterans who have been sexually assaulted.
Women veterans are limited in their ability to ability to obtain gender-specific health appointments. According to Patty Hayes, the VA's chief consultant for women's health, only 16 percent of women who are eligible for care at the VA use it.
The VA aims to have a designated women's health provider in each of its medical facilities. Currently the VA has practitioners specifically trained on women's health in approximately 60- 65 percent of its clinics.
Media Resources: Washington Post/ AP 8/8/11; National Partnership for Women and Families 8/8/11
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .