1. Methods to outreach to women veterans are ineffective without public advertisement. Congress must create legislation that allows the VA to conduct public outreach to the underserved women veterans.
• Thousands of women nationwide are unaware of their VA status. Due to limited healthcareenrollment of women veterans; gender specific healthcare services i.e. mammograms are out sourced to private facilities.
2. VA must do more to provide women veterans with preventive heath care education and increase services for awareness and care for reproductive concerns.
3. VA must do more prevention care for older women veterans.
4. Military Sexual Trauma is a criminal act and must be treated and processed as such. Congress must ensure that legislation mandates that perpetrators are registered in their home of record state and place of discharge, to ensure all women are safe.
The Department of Defense reported on March 16, 2010 that Military Sexual Assaults increased 11 percent from fiscal year 2008.
Congress must pass legislation to make sexual assault on women or men in the military a criminal offense and constitute a stiffer penalty when serving in combat zones.
5. Women Program Managers in the VA Benefits office and VA Medical Center must do more to ensure staffing in their work place is familiar with them and their appointed roles so that women veterans are tracked through this process of referral.
There are 56,656 women veterans in Illinois.
6. Women veterans with military history of suicide and other crucial mental health issues shouldnot be turned away because of discharge dates. Treatment should be provided until a solid referral can be made for care in an alternative healthcare system.
7. The Center for Women Veterans must improve their strategy to outreach to women veterans across the nation. As of 2009 according to the VA there are more than 1,824,198 women veterans in the United States and Puerto Rico.
8. Congress must ensure that the VA is doing more to provide care to the trend of younger women veterans and their children. When women veterans separate from the military with no healthcare their children are also uninsured.
9. Congress must implement legislation to provide children that were born within the tenure of military service healthcare for a maximum of 2 years when the veteran is unemployed.
More than 128,397 females that served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have been discharged from the military since 2002.
Within one year (2008-2009) there was an increase of 15% of women registered in VA healthcare services.