Hampton VA Medical Center
Hampton Women’s clinic to be model for patient care
Built in 1837 the Hampton VA Medical Center (VAMC) is the 4th oldest VA Medical Center in the country. With a long history of serving America’s Veterans, Hampton is looking far into its future. On Sept. 21, the medical center marked the opening of the VISN’s second stand alone clinic dedicated to serving Women Veterans.
The changing demographics of service members leaving the military, means that the VA has to make changes to the way it does business. In today’s VA, women are the fastest growing population and account for nearly 6 percent of all Veterans. According to recent data, there are more than 37,000 women Veterans of all eras who live throughout northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.
“There are more than 10,800 women Veterans enrolled to receive healthcare here at Hampton VA Medical Center,” said Benita Stoddard, acting medical center director. “That is an increase of nearly 1,000 new women Veterans seeking care through the VA this year. Because of this increase, the new clinic triples the size of the current one and is designed meet the needs of our growing Veteran population far into the future.”
During the keynote address, Daniel Hoffmann, network director for VISN 6, noted that Hampton has the largest population of female Veterans in VISN 6.
Hoffmann said, “Hampton has a proud history of serving Veterans and now has an opportunity not only to serve its male population, but to provide specialized services that are unique to women Veterans.”
The new clinic’s features include private exam rooms with special attention to privacy considerations, such as placement exam tables, child play areas in the lobby, and adjoining wings that connect primary care providers with their mental health counterparts.
The new clinic is part of the cultural transformation taking place across the VA, which is focused on patient-centered care.
“Our goal is to create a safe, Veteran friendly environment for the women who seek healthcare services at the Hampton VAMC,” said Patrice Malena, women’s health care program manager. “It is a one-stop-shop for America’s women Veterans.”
By co-locating services in one centralized location, women Veterans in need of psychological services can seamlessly be seen by a mental health provider as part of their primary care appointment. Previously Veterans would have to wait for another appointment. Communication between providers will improve the services that women Veterans receive.
“It’s such a benefit to us women Veterans,” said Hattie Cannady, U.S. Army Veteran. “Before this clinic, I could spend the entire day, going from appointment to appointment ~ Hampton is a huge place where nothing is close together. At this clinic, we have everything we need right here for us, and that’s a big help.”
Women Veterans deserve health care provided with privacy, safety, dignity, and sensitivity to gender-specific needs. VA understands the needs of women Veterans and is best equipped to meet their needs.