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‘Give us another try’: New health center focuses on needs of women veterans

Several people stand and cut a ribbon
 Jason Miller
Central Virginia VA Health Care System
A ribbon is cut in front of the new women's health center at the Richmond VA Medical Center.

The new 12,000-square-foot building opened to patients in April.

Women are the fastest growing group in the veteran population, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. But health care for women vets is still catching up.

The newly created Women’s Health Center on the campus of the Richmond Veterans Affairs Medical Center will expand services for thousands of women vets.

In a recent conversation with VPM News morning Host Phil Liles, Marlise Skinner, a women veterans program manager, said it’s more than a new building — it’s a new experience.

“Our plan is to make it as encompassing as possible for our women veterans, so that only their absolute specialty cares, which would be outside of the normal women’s health, would need to be done on the outside. They could get everything else done here,” Skinner said.

The new 12,000-square-foot building opened its doors to patients in April. It offers primary and mental health care, gynecology, a pharmacy and social work, among other services. Skinner said nationally, trust scores with women veterans are not as high as those of male veterans. She added that the VA has not provided the same level of services for women as it has for men.

“What I would really like for our women veterans to know, especially ones that have not been happy with what’s available for women in the past, please come out and give us another try and let us show you that we are not invisible,” she said. “We see you”.

The facility is on the Broad Rock Boulevard side of the Richmond Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus.

Correction: The photo credit has been updated.

Phil Liles is VPM's morning news host.