Women Veterans - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center

 

Women Veterans

Women Veterans Health Care

A woman Veteran receives a spa bag and carnation

Women's Health Week
A woman in a wheelchari
Women's Health Week

Honoring Women Veterans

To celebrate Women's Health Week, women Veterans were recognized for their service with an event at the Milwaukee VA. Women Veterans were offered a donated spa bag, carnation, buttons and stickers, as well as information on programs for women Veterans. To each and every one of you, thank you for your service.

About Women's Health Care

Comprehensive Women’s Health Care is available to all women Veterans who are eligible to receive their care through a VA healthcare facility. This includes the Milwaukee VA Medical Center or any of our four Community Based Outpatient Clinics: Green Bay Health Care Center, Appleton VA Clinic, Cleveland VA Community Outpatient Clinic, or Union Grove Community Outpatient Clinic.

Note: Click on the linked heading text to expand or collapse accordion panels.

Milwaukee VA Women Veterans Program Manager
Jill Feldman, PhD, LCSW
414-384-2000, x41926
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online or send a text message to 838255
Confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Sign up for Women Veterans Listserv
Receive regular updates about events for women Veterans both at the VA and in the community and healthcare alerts. To sign up send an email

To: listserv@listserve.va.gov
Subject: Women’s Health Newsletter In body of email type:
SUB WOMENSHEALTH-L followed by your email address

Women Veterans Call Center
1-855-829-6636
Monday- Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

The Women Veterans Call Center can answer a wide variety of questions related to:

  • Eligibility
  • Benefits
  • Healthcare
  • Claims
  • Survivor benefits
  • Services


Telephone Care Service
1-888-469-6614, ext.46345 A telephone advice line is available to Veterans. It allows you to get the health information and care you need between scheduled clinic visits. A Registered Nurse is available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The nurse will look up your medical record. Once you have explained your symptoms or asked your questions, the nurse will give you advice about your condition.

Yes, women who are enrolled for healthcare at the VA can receive comprehensive maternity care in the community from a physician or certified nurse midwife. Coverage includes

  • All outpatient prenatal evaluations and treatment
  • Prenatal classes
  • Belly Belt or pressure stockings
  • Diagnostic images/laboratories/studies/procedures, to include genetic counseling, screening and testing as clinically indicated
  • Pathology services relevant to prenatal through postpartum care
  • Gestational diabetes counseling
  • Nutrition counseling as indicated
  • Anesthesia consultation and services
  • Labor and delivery services including hospital admission for not more than seven consecutive days after the birth of the child
  • Inpatient admission or observation status for complications related to maternity care
  • Follow-up visits for 8 weeks postpartum, including all clinically indicated contraception as requested by the Veteran, excluding elective sterilization Note: If patient decides to have elective sterilization after being discharged, separate referral is required
  • Lactation consultations and follow-ups up to 8 weeks postpartum
  • Breast pump, Nursing Bras, milk storage bags, lanolin cream, absorbent pads for nursing bras
  • All routine medications will be provided by the VA.
  • 7 days post-delivery care for new born, including circumcision

Yes, a gynecologist at the Milwaukee VA will complete an initial assessment to determine if treatment can occur at the VA Medical Center or if the Veteran will need more specialized care in the community which the VA will cover.

All types of infertility care are available including IVF under certain limited circumstances. Only Veterans who are service connected (determined to be disabled through the Veterans Benefits Administration) for infertility and who served in The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) are eligible for IVF. This applies to male or female Veterans.

You will be asked if you prefer a male or female primary care provider. For specialty care or in-patient admissions your preferences will be honored if there is a staff person available of the gender you are requesting.

Women Veterans are automatically assigned to a primary care provider (WH-PCP) who has received training and/or experience in the care of women Veterans. Primary care provided by WH-PCPs enhances women Veterans’ satisfaction with care and quality of gender-specific care.

Absolutely! “Don’t ask. Don’t tell” is not and never has been a policy for accessing health care at the VA. We have providers who have training specific to the healthcare issues of LGBTQ Veterans.

Contact: Gregory Simons, Ph.D.
LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator
414 384 2000 Ext. 46844

Transgender Veterans requesting primary care in a Women’s Health Clinic or a Designated Women’s Health Provider (WH-PCP) in a mixed gender primary care clinic should be assigned to WHC or WH-PCP as requested. (VHA Directive 2013-003 Providing Health Care for Transgender and Intersex Veterans)

Yes, all currently FDA approved types of birth control are available, including a tubal ligation. You and your primary care provider or gynecologist will determine the best option for you.

It is defined as the provision of complete primary care and care coordination at one site by a Designated Women’s Health Primary Care Provider (WH-PCP) and Women’s Health Patient Aligned Care Team (WH-PACT) team. The WH-PCP and WH-PACT should, in the context of a longitudinal relationship, fulfill all primary care needs, including: care for acute and chronic illness, preventative services, and mental health services,

It is expected that gender-specific (breast and cervical cancer screening) primary care is provided by the same clinician who renders other routine primary care, preferably without multiple encounters or visits scheduled over different days.

The VA is committed to a culture that is respectful for all Veterans and visitors who enter the facility.

Women’s Resource Center (Building 109) - The WRC is a stand-alone mental health clinic solely for women patients. All the providers are women. The WRC focuses on treatment of trauma related disorders. To access the WRC, contact your primary care provider to request mental health treatment for you or, if you already have a mental health provider you can request that they schedule their appointments with you in the WRC.

Intimate Partner Violence/Domestic Violence - Each VA healthcare facility has a coordinator who leads efforts to educate staff, promote screening, collaborate with community services, and identify ways to care for Veterans who have experienced IPV and those who use IPV.

Contact: Rachele Klassy, Coordinator 414-384-2000 Ext 43874

Veterans Crisis Line - Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one? Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.

Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

Text 838255

Chat - Press ctrl . . . Connect online

Support for deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889

What Are the Signs of Crisis? Feeling anxious or alone and thinking about suicide are some of the signs that a Veteran may be in crisis.

Domiciliary Women’s Unit - Domiciliary 123 houses six different residential treatment programs, one being a Women’s General Program. The Women’s Program is staffed by an interdisciplinary treatment team and is generally 45 days in length. The group-based program provides services for female Veterans who are seeking more intensive treatment for mental health concerns to include substance use. Programming includes gender-specific groups in addition to mixed-gender groups to better meet individual clinical needs. The female residents are housed on a 15-bed secure unit within the Domiciliary to provide a gender-sensitive, safe, supportive environment for female veterans.

End Sexual Harassment - According to a national VA study approximately 24% of women who use the VA for healthcare have experienced sexual harassment at the VA by other patients or visitors. The Milwaukee VA has been working diligently to clarify what is a compliment and what is harassment, to provide options for those who experience harassment, and to report it through channels that can effectively impact behavior.

If you experience sexual harassment, please speak up. Tell the person that their behavior offends you. You can contact the police or a trusted healthcare provider to make a report.

Sister Assister - 414-389-4002 or 1-888-469 6614, ext. 44002

Sometimes it’s comforting to have somebody meet you at the hospital entrance and stay with you while you are waiting to be seen. We have specially trained female volunteers, called Sister Assisters, who can do just that. Call the number above to schedule a Sister Assister to accompany you to any outpatient appointment at the Medical Center. Most requests require 24 notice to arrange for a Sister Assister.

Women’s health providers at the VA are proficient in treating women at all stages of life. Symptoms of menopause can be treated with a variety of interventions including hormone replacement therapy. We also have a sexual health clinic designed to support women’s sexuality at all ages.

Absolutely. These cancer screenings are a part of routine women’s primary care. Your primary care provider (PCP) will do the pap and pelvic exam during an annual physical. Mammography is a covered benefit that is provided in the community. The results are sent to your PCP.

Men or women who experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault while serving in the military can receive both physical and mental health care for any resulting injuries. There is no need to provide proof and there is no deadline after which care is no longer available. Veterans who were discharged from the military with an honorable discharge but who may not be eligible for VA healthcare can receive care for MST related health issues at the VA.

If, however, you want to submit a claim and receive compensation you will need to do that through the Veterans Benefits Administration. A regional office is located on VA grounds in Milwaukee. Veterans who want to submit a claim can ask for assistance from their County Veteran Service Officer, a veteran’s service organization such as American Legion or VFW, or a regional office staff designated to assist with submitting claims.

VA healthcare staff believe that we have a unique understanding of the needs of Veterans. VA researchers have been studying issues Veterans experience such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, toxic exposure, amputations and other wounds, increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol among other health issues. As a patient at a VA facility you benefit from this specialized knowledge.

The Milwaukee VA has a large pod like structure called a Mamava located in the South lobby of the Medical Center and in the Green Bay VA Health Care Center. The pod is private and locks from the inside. Key check out is located at the information desk from 8 am to 4:30 pm. It is available for use by patients and visitors. Employees have a separate space in the medical center and in building 6 to pump. Contact EEO for more information about the employee resource at 414-384-2000, ext. 45782.

Women Veterans Consumer Advocacy Council - The council meets every other month to share their observations about the facility and the healthcare experience at the Milwaukee VA and its satellite clinics. The Women Veterans Program Manager chairs the meeting and directs the concerns and praise to the proper person or program to address. Individual healthcare concerns such as dissatisfaction with a provider should be discussed with the Patient Advocate. For more information contact Dr. Jill Feldman at 414 384 2000 x41926 or visit her at the Women’s Resource Center, building 109, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m..

Whole Health is an approach to health care that empowers and equips Veterans to take charge of their health and well-being and live life to the fullest. The Whole Health System includes traditional treatment, but also focuses on self-care and quality of life. It’s a paradigm shift from fixing a Veteran’s health problem, to healing the whole individual for life. It addresses all aspects of your health and well-being, based on what matters most to you.

Contact: Stacy Olson
Milwaukee VA Medical Center
414-384-2000 Ext. 43611
Stacy.Olson2@va.gov

For Women Veterans, VA is Here

Women Veteran Program Managers are available at each VA Medical Center nationwide to assist women Veterans and coordinate services. Women Veterans who are interested in receiving care at VA should contact the nearest VA Medical Center.

Women Veterans are assigned to a designated Women’s Health Primary Care Provider who can provide general primary care and is specially trained or experienced in women’s care.

Honor, Loyalty, Pride in Service, Patriot, Leader, Military Experience. VA knows women Veterans - what's invisible to most is visible to VA

Whole Health - It's All About You

VA’s Whole Health System offers women Veterans proactive and personalized health care—empowering you to achieve your greatest level of health and well-being. Whole Health means the Whole You. From integrative health approaches like stress reduction, nutrition, and health coaching, to traditional clinical care and complementary health approaches—your journey to Whole Health starts here.

Well-Being Programs

Proactive, integrative health approaches such as:

  • Health coaching
  • Mind-body therapies and stress reduction
  • Mindfulness
  • Nutrition and weight management
  • Peer support and community resources
  • Programs to stop smoking
  • Physical therapy and chiropractic services

General Health

You will be at the center of a Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT). A provider, nurse, and others will engage with you to manage your health care.

  • Primary care: includes general medical care for acute and chronic conditions, such as chronic pain, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • Preventive care: includes immunizations and cancer screenings, such as mammogram, Pap, and colonoscopy
  • Gender-specific care
  • Birth control
  • Family planning and preconception counseling
  • Maternity and newborn care (first 7 days after birth)
  • Osteoporosis screening and management

Gynecology Health Services

Evaluation and treatment for:

  • Abnormal Pap test
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic pain
  • Gynecologic cancers

Mental Health

Evaluation, counseling, and treatment for:

  • Depression, mood, and anxiety disorders
  • Alcohol and drug use and addiction
  • Coping with illness
  • Intimate partner violence/sexual and domestic abuse
  • Military sexual trauma (MST)
  • Parenting and caregiver concerns
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Stress adjustment from deployment

Specialty Care

  • Management of chronic or complex conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and fibromyalgia, as well as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
  • Surgery programs available at most Medical Centers
  • Rehabilitation, homebound, and long-term care VA referrals are given to those in need of rehabilitation therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy

VA referrals are given to those in need of rehabilitation therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, exercise therapy, recreational therapy, and vocational therapy.