Veterans Health – Starting With WUpdated: March 26, 2021
Find common veterans health and medical topics starting with the letter W related to military service. The guide covers health topics from A to Z. Read on for more information about war-related illness and injury, weight management, and more VA health topics in the W category.
Note: What follows should not be taken as medical advice and is not intended as a diagnosis. This page is general information related to common veterans conditions and should not replace advice from your health care provider.
War-Related Illness and Injury
Did you know the VA runs the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC)? This is a national program “dedicated to Veterans post-deployment health concerns and unique health care needs” according to the VA official site.
The mission of the Center is to focus on post-deployment health issues. The VA partners with referring providers and teams to support veteran care. This Center is a part of the VA Post Deployment Health Services program.
You can learn more about the WRIISC’s areas of emphasis at the official site, including news and information about how to volunteer for research studies, legislation that affects after-deployment healthcare, and telehealth for vets.
The Department of Veterans Affairs runs a weight management program called MOVE! Weight management issues follow some veterans through their entire military careers and into civilian life.
The VA created this health promotion program to encourage healthy lifestyles that include exercise, mindful eating, and the promotion of proven health science. There are even resources available to vets who are not enrolled in VA care (see below).
The VA official site claims thousands of successes with this program, which includes a four-step signup system. According to VA.gov, you should do the following:
- Inform your VA Primary Care team that you want to participate in MOVE!.
- Complete the MOVE!11 Getting Started Questionnaire in person at the VA or online.
- Print and review your MOVE!11 Getting Started Questionnaire report with your health team. At this stage, you may be recommended MOVE! Handouts specific to your needs.
- With help from your team, select MOVE! Treatment Options available at your preferred VA center.
The program information is available even for those not currently enrolled in the VA health care system, thanks to a mobile app and a workbook for veterans. You can learn more about these at the VA official site for the MOVE! program.
Where is my VA?
Locating your nearest VA center is important for various reasons, and depending on your needs, it may be best to start looking for your VA resources sooner rather than later. “Sooner” meaning before retirement or separation, if possible.
Some veterans require far more from their VA healthcare options than others. Those who anticipate needing to spend extended time at a VA facility should know what their options are and what their fallbacks and last resort options may be.
One reason is that not all VA facilities offer the same level of care or assistance as others. Those who need access to highly specialized or intensive treatment will have a completely different set of concerns from those simply looking for a place to file their benefits paperwork and start using them.
You will want to not only find the nearest VA facilities but also know what those facilities specifically have to offer you. It may be that what you need is farther away than expected, or you may have multiple VA healthcare facilities to choose from.
Find the VA facilities nearest you using this locator tool on the VA official site.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has gotten national recognition for its “Whole Health” approach to health care. The VA official site has an entire section devoted to the whole health approach, which begins by asking a simple question about care options: “What matters to you?”
That question is “the first step in a new model of whole health care” created to help veterans prioritize their care needs, find programs and options that work best for the individual, and “maintain their best all-around health.” The VA Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation partners with VA leaders and care providers to push the whole health concept nationwide.
The approach includes administering a Personal Health Inventory, which is described as a self-assessment tool that can help veterans via the answers to questions in the following topic areas:
- Getting restful sleep
- Nutrition and realistic eating goals
- Mental health, social interaction, and avoiding isolation
- Energy levels and exercise
- Learning and growing as a whole person
This program depends on something called the Eight Components Of Self-Care and a healthcare model called the Components of Proactive Health and Well-Being. This model is designed to facilitate creating a top-down view of a veteran’s personal health plan with an eye on a holistic approach–focusing on one area of your well-being can benefit others.
Women Veterans Health Care
Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps…all branches of military service boast significant contributions from women in uniform.
And as VA literature points out, women make up the fastest-growing group among the veteran population in America. The VA Women Veterans Healthcare program is designed to offer help, resources, and care for this important group of vets.
The VA wants vets to know that “every VA facility” has a Women Veterans Program Manager who is there to advocate for women vets and advise them of their options, rights, and benefits. Their roles include the coordination of services women veterans need post-service. Everything from primary care and reproductive health to specialized care for chronic conditions.
VA Primary Care Options For Women Veterans
- General care: health evaluation and counseling, disease prevention, nutrition counseling, weight control, smoking cessation, and substance abuse treatment.
- “Gender-specific primary” such as cervical cancer screenings/Pap smears, breast cancer screening including mammograms, birth control, and menopausal support via hormone replacement therapy.
- Mental health issues.
- Care and counseling for intimate partner and domestic violence; sexual trauma; elder abuse or neglect; parenting and anger management; marital, caregiver, or family-related stress.
- Care and counseling for post-deployment adjustment or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Care and counseling for Military Sexual Trauma.
VA Specialty Care Options For Women Veterans
- Management and screening of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, glandular disorders, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia
- Management and screening for sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
- Reproductive health care
- Maternity care
- Infertility evaluation and limited treatment
- Rehabilitation care
- Long-term care
- VA referrals for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, exercise therapy, recreational therapy, and vocational therapy
Eligibility and Enrollment For VA Women Veterans Healthcare
Apply for health care by completing VA Form 10-10EZ online, or in person at a VA facility. You can get more information, directions, or assistance by calling the VA Health Benefits Call Center toll-free at 877-222 VETS (877-222-8387).
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News