VA Office of Women’s Health Services, Women’s Health Communication and Consulting Service 2017-11-28T14:18:40+00:00

Project Description

Sarah Breitbarth, ERPi Senior Consultant

Sarah Breitbarth

Senior Consultant

VA Office of Women’s Health Services, Women’s Health Communication and Consulting Service

ERPi proudly supports VA’s Office of Women’s Health Services (WHS) in its mission to address the healthcare needs of women Veterans, ensuring that timely, equitable, high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services are provided in a sensitive and safe environment at VA health facilities nationwide. There are currently 2.2 million women Veterans, making up 10 percent of the Veteran population. This number is expected to increase at an average rate of about 18,000 women per year for the next 10 years, making women the fastest growing subgroup of Veterans.

Engaging and better servicing the unique healthcare needs of this growing number of women Veterans is one of VA’s most important priorities. ERPi assists WHS in addressing operational and cultural barriers to the delivery of comprehensive women’s healthcare through strategic, targeted, and professionally produced communications. These efforts are an essential part of WHS’ outreach mission to serve its constituency of women warriors.

We communicate to this population through a diverse suite of communications channels and techniques, from integrated campaigns, including creative content, graphics, toolkits, and coordinated outreach, to branding and social media. The Women’s Health Communication and Consulting Service project provides a vital extension to the outreach arm of WHS.

Why This Work Matters

Women Veterans have earned and deserve equal care with sensitivity to gender-specific issues, such as advanced breast and gynecological care, maternity care, and infertility treatments. Women Veterans also face cultural barriers. In a recent survey, only 37 percent of women Veterans indicated they felt “recognized, respected and valued as Veterans in civilian life.”

Advancing the health and wellbeing of women Veterans begins with effectively communicating and increasing awareness of VA’s progress towards expanding services and access, and cultivating an inclusive environment that is welcoming to women Veterans. It is important for women Veterans to understand the full scale of available services, including IVF treatments and services, expanded onsite mammograms, and a Women Veterans Program Manager available to advise, advocate, and coordinate care for them. And most importantly we want to drive communications that tell women Veterans that VA honors and welcomes them.

Making a Difference

As a woman, sister, daughter, friend, and patriot it is important to me that women Veterans are recognized equally for their service, and are treated with the best care VA can provide. Our communications work directly impacts women Veterans, helping them access health services and benefits through the VA system. For example, ERPi initiated a multi-year outreach campaign to increase awareness of the Women Veterans Call Center (WVCC). The campaign aimed to break down barriers to access and connect the growing number of women Veterans with the appropriate VA services and benefits earned. Our campaign efforts to date has resulted in a 486 percent increase in the number of women Veterans served by the Call Center, reaching over 340,000 beneficiaries.