Titus, Democratic Members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Call for Hearing on Female Veterans

Oct 20, 2014
Press Release

October 20, 2014

Las Vegas, NV – Today Congresswoman Dina Titus of the First Congressional District of Nevada and Democratic members of the House Veterans Affairs Committee sent a letter to Committee Chairman Jeff Miller calling for a hearing focused on female veterans when the House returns to Washington in November. 
 
Female veterans represent 10% of the population served by the VA, and that figure is expected to grow significantly. According to the Disabled American Veterans’ recent report, “Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home,” 20% of new recruits are female, along with 14.5% of the active duty component and 18% of the reserve components. Close to 200,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet recent reports indicate that the VA drastically underserves our female veterans. 
 
“With the percentage of women veterans seeking care from the VA likely to increase, it is imperative that the VA modernize its services to adapt to the unique needs of our nation’s female heroes,” said Titus. “The House Committee on Veterans Affairs should play a leading role in guiding the VA to improve these services. A hearing on this important topic is the best way to start.” 
 
Full text of the letter to Chairman Miller can be read here:
 
Dear Chairman Miller,
 
When the House returns to session following the November election, we urge you to hold a full committee hearing that focuses solely on the care and support that are being provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to our female veterans.  
 
Female veterans represent about 10% of the population served by the VA, and that figure is expected to grow significantly. According to the Disabled American Veterans’ recent report, “Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home,” 20% of new recruits are female, along with 14.5% of the active duty component and 18% of the reserve components. Close to 200,000 women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
 
Yet a recent report by the Associated Press found that nearly one in four VA hospitals does not have a fulltime gynecologist on staff.  In addition, approximately 15 percent of community-based clinics in rural areas do not even have a designated women’s health provider despite the VA’s stated goal to have such a provider in every VA healthcare facility.
 
With the percentage of women veterans seeking care from the VA likely to increase, it is imperative that the VA modernize its services to adapt to the unique needs of our nation’s female heroes. Our Committee can and should play a key role in this transformation by of providing oversight and ensuring that the VA has the authorities and resources it needs to meet this growing demand. 
 
Secretary McDonald recently commented before our committee that he recognized the need and wants to move forward on this important area of specialization.
 
A hearing on the topic would be an important step toward this goal. Our women veterans deserve no less. Accordingly, we hope that you will schedule such a hearing when Congress is in session in November.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dina Titus
Members of Congress