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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: November 20, 2013 09:54 AM
From: Senator LeAnna M. Washington
To: All Senate members
Subject: Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care
In the coming weeks I plan to introduce SR 262, a Concurrent Resolution establishing a Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that women comprise approximately 10% of the current veterans’ population, with approximately 80,000 living in Pennsylvania. By 2040 it is estimated that women will make up approximately 18% of the veterans’ population as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom wind down.

Women veterans often face unique challenges in transitioning from active duty to civilian life. Unfortunately, these challenges are often overlooked given the large, predominantly male veteran population. To ensure that our returning veterans get the care they need, we must ensure the availability of specialized services for areas such as physical and mental health, including treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, and alcohol and substance abuse tailored to the specific needs of women.

To honor their service and help them reintegrate back into civilian life, SR 262 would create a 17-member task force that will study health care issues unique to women veterans, along with the quality of and access to care for women veterans. Membership would be comprised of 13 members appointed by the Governor, including members of various interest groups and 4 women veterans, and 4 members appointed by the General Assembly. The Task Force would have authority to address other issues unique to women veterans and be required to submit a report and its resulting recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by November 30, 2014.
A similar commission was established in the State of Oregon in 2009, with much success.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SR262