WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt., Oct. 19 - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today attended a ceremony to mark the opening of a Women's Comprehensive Care Center here at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
"This facility is about keeping our promise to the brave women who have served in uniform. As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I have worked hard to make sure that Vermont veterans get the quality health care they have earned and deserve," Sanders said. "I am happy to say that we have made significant progress."
VA health care facilities in the past were designed primarily for the treatment of male veterans, while women were referred to private health care providers in local communities. Now, Sanders said, the VA is focused on providing quality, gender specific medical care in the most appropriate settings.
About half of VA's 153 Medical Centers currently have facilities for women as the number of female veterans continues to grow. In Vermont alone there now are more than 3,000 women veterans, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs
The Women's Comprehensive Care Center at the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center opened its doors on Oct. 1. The outpatient care center is approximately 4,600 square feet and offers comprehensive health care five days a week.
Sanders later today planned to tour a VA clinic in Brattleboro to welcome Dr. Richard Orlan, the new medical director.
Throughout Vermont, about 8,600 veterans now receive care from five Community-Based Outpatient Clinics. In addition to the Brattleboro facility, VA clinics also are located in Colchester, Rutland, Bennington and Newport.
The clinics operate as satellites of the VA medical center in White River Junction. "That means that in the very northern part of the state and in the very southern part of the state, veterans can get the primary health care they need without having to travel long distances," Sanders said.