BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– Women in the military are a demographic growing quickly. The Beckley VA is striving to provide gender-specific healthcare to women who have served.
“It is so important to have our women veterans be taken care of through the VA,” Women Veteran Program Manager, Wanda Richmond said. “They deserve the same care as their male counterparts. So, we need to bring every service that is available for every veteran to the VA.”
Wanda Richmond is the veteran services program manager at the Beckley VA. Her job is to bring in healthcare services specifically tailored to women
“Make all women veterans have easier access to grow a program that gives them the things that they need to have the best healthcare they could have,” Richmond said.
She works alongside Sara Yoke, a veteran, and public affairs officer. Both are passionate about bringing things like mammograms and OBGYN services to the Beckley VA.
“We don’t have the volume of women that are enrolled in the VA to warrant having it as a full-time position,” Yoke said. “So, that’s why we really want to increase this number, so that we can do it in-house.”
Yoke added that currently, women veterans are the fastest-growing demographic of those that have served.
“Nationwide, the population is growing as one of the quickest growing demographics of veterans, and that’s no different in West Virginia,” she said.
Both emphasized that care tailored to veterans makes all the difference, women included.
“I feel safe coming into the VA because I feel like I’m understood. There are still improvements we can make, especially with women’s healthcare,” Yoke added.
Currently, about 15% of all that are enrolled in the Beckley VA are women.