Female veterans share their experiences

March 25, 2010 9:59:33 AM PDT
There is an increase in the number of women serving our country, so the demand for health care has increased, especially among those who become disabled.

The Jesse Brown VA Women Center starts a visual project that enabled women veterans to share their experiences.

A small group of women veterans with disabilities were given cameras to record their experiences getting quality health care at VA facilities.

"I had surgery, knee surgery, in April. They got me in, they got me out immediately, whereas some males would've had the same surgeries and would still be in the hospital," said Goldie Winfield.

Winfield served in the Army during the Vietnam War.

"I was injured when I was in the military. There are other things that have happened since. I have had several disabilities as a result of my military career," said Winfield.

Hattie Tyson also served in the Army during the Vietnam War. She became disabled after the war.

"I had a lower back condition, and I had knee surgery," Tyson said.

These women are part of a project called "New Visions: Exploring the Health Experiences of Disabled Women Veterans through Photovoice". The mission is to improve services and prepare programs for the growing number of women with disabilities seeking services through Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Gwenn Garmon is staff physician at Jesse Brown VA Hospital.

"We know there are special needs, and what this research project seeks to do is understand a little bit more of a sub-segment of our veterans population, those with disabilities," said Dr. Garmon. "Whether it be emotional disabilities from what they've suffered during their experience in the war, or physical disabilities from suffering a different kind of experiences."

If you want to know more about this project and Jesse Brown VA Women Center, call Dr. Allison Brown at (312) 569-7897.