Mpls. VA receives grants for women's health

Minneapolis VA
The Minneapolis VA Medical Center in a 2009 file photo.
MPR Photo/Lorna Benson

The Minneapolis VA has received $217,000 in women's health grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA officials say they will use the money to establish a new women's health telepharmacy for women veterans in rural Minnesota.

"With women veterans who are receiving care at one of our outlying community-based clinics ... they would rather get care closer to home rather than drive all the way into Minneapolis," said Erin Krebs, the women's health medical director.

The VA also plans to offer specialized nurse training and women's health outpatient services.

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Krebs said it's critical to improve care for women veterans as their population in the military grows.

"Even when the health conditions or illnesses are similar," she said, "for example PTSD, women sometimes really benefit from special services just because they are a numerical minority here and their experience in the military may be very different from that of men."

The Minneapolis VA is also participating in a pilot study with the Los Angeles VA to expand the coordination of maternity health care.

The grants are part of a national VA effort to increase access to health care for women veterans.