Women veterans shared their stories of delayed medical appointments and other concerns with VA care at the first town hall geared toward women Tuesday at the Fayetteville Veterans Health Care Center on Raeford Road.
The town hall coincided with site visits in North Carolina this week conducted by the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans.
“Other audience members provided similar comments, with one saying she’s waited since February to see an outside chiropractor. Another woman had been trying to make a mental health appointment...”
The committee advises the secretary of veterans affairs about women veterans’ needs related to health care, rehabilitation, compensation, outreach and other programs, and activities administered by Veterans Affairs.
The purpose of the site visits is for advisory committee members to compare information they’ve received at national VA-level briefings with information they receive in the field, said Anna Crenshaw, the designated federal officer for the committee and deputy director for the VA Center for Women Veterans.
“They get to visit the clinics,” she said. “They get to talk to the leaders in the field, and they can compare that information to see if what they’re receiving at the policy level is trickling down at the field level.”
Comments made at Tuesday’s town hall are expected to be taken back to Washington, D.C., officials said. About 15 women veterans attended the town hall meeting. Most raised concerns about when they could be seen for an appointment.
One audience member said she’s had a persistent cough since December, and her primary care manager kept asking her if it was related to acid reflux, which she said had already been addressed.
Other audience members provided similar comments, with one saying she’s waited since February to see an outside chiropractor. Another woman had been trying to make a mental health appointment since Feb. 11 that kept being rescheduled, and yet another veteran said she’s tried to make an eye appointment since January. For Fayetteville resident Debrah Terry, who served in the Army for 15 years, her concern is with a cranial prosthesis for those with hair issues.