NOTE: The time of the Feb. 12 town hall meeting in Salem to discuss women veterans health care has changed from 6:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The American Legion, the country’s largest organization of wartime veterans, will soon host a town hall meeting in Salem, Va., for women veterans to discuss the quality of health care they are receiving at the Salem VA Medical Center and other Dept. of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
The town hall meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at American Legion Post 3 on 710 Apperson Dr. in Salem. Representatives from the Legion’s System Worth Saving (SWS) Task Force will attend; it was created in 2003 to evaluate the quality of health care at VA facilities nationwide.
Women who have served in the armed forces and are currently receiving health care from the VA are encouraged to participate in the town hall meeting. Local members of all veteran service organizations are also welcome to attend.
The SWS team will also visit the VA medical center to interview patients, staff and administrators. “We conduct these site visits each year to evaluate and report on the quality of health care our veterans are receiving,” said Ralph Bozella, chairman of the Legion’s SWS program. “Our next report will focus on the health-care needs of women veterans.”
“The input and feedback that we receive from women veterans during these SWS town hall meetings helps us understand firsthand what challenges and recommendations they have for improving their medical care,” said Jacob Gadd, the Legion’s deputy director for health.
The town hall meeting and hospital visit are part of the current SWS tour of 15 VA medical centers across the country; other site visits have included Buffalo, N.Y.; Togus, Maine; Fargo, N.D.; North Chicago, Ill.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Tampa, Fla.; Erie, Pa. and Dublin, Ga. Information collected from these site visits is compiled in an annual report that is submitted to Congress, the White House and senior VA leadership.
Women now make up about 15 percent of the country’s 1.4 million servicemembers, and account for 1.8 million of the country’s 23 million veterans. About 340,000 women veterans are currently enrolled in the VA health-care system. For more information on the town hall meeting, contact Gadd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Submitted by Marty Callaghan