Why a Houston VA Medical Center is focusing on females


>>THE LOCAL V.A. MEDICAL CENTER SAYS YOUNG FEMALES ARE THEIR FASTEST GROWING PATIENT POPULATION. TEXAS HAS TENS OF THOUSANDS MORE FEMALE VETERANS THAN ANY OTHER STATE. BECAUSE OF THAT, HOUSTON HAS TO MAKE WOMEN THEIR PRIORITY.>>SO HEALTH REPORTER HALEY HERNANDEZ IS HERE THIS MORNING TO EXPLAIN HOW THE HOSPITAL IS GROWING TO ACCOMMODATE THESE FEMALE VETERANS.>>DID YOU KNOW THAT TEXAS HAS A BIGGER POPULATION OF FEMALE VETERANS THAN ANY OTHER STATE? THERE ARE MORE THAN 183,000 TOTAL. AS OUR LOCAL V.A. KNOWS, WOMEN FIGHTING FOR OUR COUNTRY COME HOME WITH MORE COMPLEX HEALTH PROBLEMS>>WE HAVE INTEGRATED A MODEL HERE WHERE WE HAVE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES CO-LOCATED–>>IN THE DeBAKEY V.A., THEY’RE CATERING TO FEMALES BECAUSE THEY FIND THAT THOUSANDS OF WOMEN COMING IN AT CHILDBEARING AGE HAVE MORE CHRONIC PAIN, DISABILITIES, AND HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT REGULAR PHYSICIANS MAY NOT DETEC>>VERY COMPLEX PSYCHOSOCIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEIR HEALTHCARE ISSUES, THEIR MENTAL HEALTH. WE DO KNOW THAT OUR FEMALE VETERANS HAVE A VERY HIGH RATE OF MILITARY SEXUAL TRAUMA.>>MEDICAL DIRECTOR SAYS BECAUSE DOCTORS HERE ARE EXPERIENCED IN WAYS TO ADDRESS UNDERLYING MENTAL HEALTH IN THE MILITARY, THEY CAN BETTER TREAT THE WHOLE PATIENT. AND EVEN THOUGH IT MAY TAKE MANY VISITS TO BUILD THAT TRUST, THEY SAY THEY FOUND THE SECRET TO GETTING PATIENTS IN FOR ROUTINE CHECKS.>>IF I HAVE A PATIENT WHO IS HOMELESS, DOESN’T COME TO HER APPOINTMENTS OR IT’S DIFFICULT FOR HER TO COME TO THE V.A. IN GENERAL, I’LL TALK TO THE BREAST RADIOLOGIST AND SHE’LL FIT THEM IN THAT DAY.>>FOR PEOPLE LIKE DORRIS TAYLOR, IT SAVES LIVES. PAIRING HER WITH A PSYCHOLOGIST ON FIRST VISIT AND KEEPING IN CONTACT EVEN WHEN SHE MISSED APPOINTMENTS MADE A DIFFERENCE TO DORRIS.>>SHE REALLY CARED. SHE REALLY CARED ABOUT ME. SHE REALLY CARED ABOUT WOMEN.>>Reporter: DOCTOR SAYS EVERY OTHER FEMALE VETERAN WILL BE TREATED THE SAME WAY. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS HOW QUICKLY THE FEMALE VETERAN POPULATION IS GROWING AND HOW RAPIDLY THEIR NEEDS ARE CHANGING. IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS, THEIR PATIENT SIZE HAVE DOUBLED AND WITH WOMEN IN COMBAT, THEY HAVE MORE CHRONIC PAIN ISSUES TOO, SO THE FUTURE OF THIS HOSPITAL MAY ALSO INCORPORATE MORE HOLISTIC TREATMENTS LIKE MEDICATION AND ACUPUNCTURE.>>SO HOW HARD IS IT FOR THEM TO JUST GET IN TO BE INITIALLY SEEN? IS THAT AN ISSUE?>>THAT’S A BIG CHALLENGE FOR THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE THESE PATIENTS ARE YOUNGER SO, THEY’VE GOT KIDS AND JOBS AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS, AND THEREFORE SOMETIMES THEY NEGLECT THEIR HEALTH. THAT’S ANOTHER REASON WHY THEY HAVE CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUES. I DID TALK TO ONE YOUNG FEMALE VETERAN. SHE’S YOUNGER THAN I AM AND SHE SAYS THAT IN OTHER CITIES WHEN SHE’S BEEN AT V.A. HOSPITALS, SHE’S BEEN IN THE WAITING ROOM WITH ELDERLY GENTLEMEN AND FELT LIKE SHE DIDN’T BELONG HERE, SO HOPEFULLY THAT SENSE OF BELONGING CHANGES WITH OUR LOCAL V.A. BECAUSE I THINK THAT DIRECTLY LINKS TO THE PATIENT’S PERCEPTION OF WHETHER OR NOT THESE DOCTORS CAN HELP THEM.>>ABSOLUTELY. THANKS FOR SHINING A LIGHT ON THIS.

1 thought on “Why a Houston VA Medical Center is focusing on females

  1. Oh my god, did they actually tell you we have specialized Mental health at the houston VA? They are so full of it. Its the third largest building owned by the federal government . The wheel chair escorts are sweet. Thats about it. Poor treatment, long waits. Same as it ever was.

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