The Dayton VA Center is the third oldest medical center in the VA system. They offer both primary and acute care services. The center is also home to a community living center and several rehabilitation programs. In 2010 the VA Center implemented a comprehensive healthcare program that offers more on-site services to female veterans, and the care they provide reaches anywhere between 1,600 and and 3,000 women.
Maritha Trass is the women veterans' program manager. She's worked at the VA Center for 16 years and says that the initiatives made in 2010 were ahead of recent national directives to provide better services for women veterans put out by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Trass says there are more changes on the way in the form of a new 4,954 square foot facility for female veterans that will include its own private entrance and waiting area.
"I can tell you they are extremely excited about this transition that's going to occur here in the next couple of months," Trass says of the female veterans she works with.
Trass says that there are still many female veterans who are unaware of the services the VA Center offers so outreach to Dayton and the surrounding counties is crucial. One opportunity for outreach is the Ohio Women Veterans Conference coming up on October 8th in Columbus.
"The women are given a lot of information at these conferences in terms of what services and benefits that they have available in our communities, at our state level, at your regional level and at our local level," says Trass.
Moving forward both locally and nationally, Trass says that the VA hopes to provide even more services for a growing population of female veterans.
"We hope to serve our women and let them know that we indeed care about what their healthcare needs are, and that we're here to serve them 100 percent," says Trass.