1Establishing the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care.

2WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of
3Veterans Affairs, the projected veterans population nationwide
4is approximately 23,000,000 with women making up an estimated
510% of that population; and

6WHEREAS, The United States Department of Veterans Affairs
7estimates the percentage of female veterans between 2010 and
82040 will increase from approximately 9% in 2010 to
9approximately 18% in 2040; and

10WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of
11Veterans Affairs, as of September 2012, this Commonwealth was
12home to approximately 981,000 veterans, including 719,000
13wartime veterans from World War II through the Gulf War; and

14WHEREAS, Females comprise approximately 80,000 of the wartime
15veterans; and

16WHEREAS, The number of women veterans will increase with the

1end of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom;

3WHEREAS, Women veterans often face unique challenges in
4transitioning from active duty to civilian life; and

5WHEREAS, The challenging needs facing women veterans can
6often be overlooked in providing services to such a large
7veteran population; and

8WHEREAS, Ensuring the availability of specialized services
9for physical and mental health, including treatment of post-
10traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military
11sexual trauma and alcohol and substance abuse tailored to the
12specific needs of women veterans is essential if the
13Commonwealth wants to ensure that our returning veterans receive
14proper care; and

15WHEREAS, Establishing a task force to study the issues facing
16women veterans and to make recommendations to the Governor and
17the General Assembly will provide much needed information and
18insight from those who address the issues on a daily basis;
19therefore be it

20RESOLVED (the House of Representatives concurring), That the
21Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care be established; and be
22it further

23RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
24consist of 17 members who shall be appointed as follows within
2525 days after the adoption of this resolution by both chambers:

26(1) Two members of the Senate, one appointed by the
27President pro tempore and one appointed by the Minority
28Leader of the Senate.

29(2) Two members of the House of Representatives, one
30appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and

1one appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of

3(3) Thirteen members appointed by the Governor as

5(i) the Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans Affairs
6of the Pennsylvania National Guard;

7(ii) the Secretary of Health;

8(iii) the Secretary of Public Welfare;

9(iv) the Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs;

10(v) four women veterans who are residents of this

12(vi) a representative from the health care provider
13community in this Commonwealth who has experience in
14providing health care to returning women veterans;

15(vii) a representative from the Commonwealth's
16mental health care provider community with experience in
17providing mental health care treatment to returning women

19(viii) a representative from the Commonwealth's
20substance abuse and addiction treatment provider
21community with experience in providing substance abuse
22and addiction treatment to returning women veterans;

23(ix) a representative from a Commonwealth advocacy
24group that represents the interests of sexual assault
25victims with experience in providing services to women
26veterans who have suffered military sexual trauma,
27including harassment or abuse; and

28(x) the chairman of the State Veterans' Commission;

29and be it further

30RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care

1study the health care needs of women veterans, including, but
2not limited to:

3(1) quality of and access to mental health services,
4including services and treatment for post-traumatic stress
5disorder and traumatic brain injury;

6(2) in-patient treatment availability;

7(3) adequacy and availability of appropriate women
8veterans' health care within the Federal health care system
9and this Commonwealth; and

10(4) adequacy, quality of and access to services
11providing for the identification and treatment of military
12sexual trauma, including sexual harassment or abuse;

13and be it further

14RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
15identify other needs relating to the provisions of women
16veterans' health care services and make recommendations to the
17General Assembly and the Governor to address those needs; and be
18it further

19RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
20consult with Federal, State and local entities in completing its
21study, including:

22(1) The Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation.

23(2) The United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

24(3) The County Commissioners Association of

26(4) The Pennsylvania League of Cities and

28(5) The Pennsylvania Medical Society.

29(6) The Hospital Association of Pennsylvania.

30(7) Veterans organizations or other organizations or

1associations that advocate for women veterans;

2and be it further

3RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
4elect one of its members to serve as chairperson; and be it

6RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
7conduct its business as follows:

8(1) The physical presence of nine members constitutes a
9quorum of the task force.

10(2) Action of the task force shall be authorized or
11ratified by a majority vote of its members.

12(3) A member not physically present may participate by
13teleconference or video conference.

14(4) The following shall apply:

15(i) The task force shall meet as necessary, but no
16fewer than five times prior to November 30, 2014.
17Additional meetings may be called by the chairperson as

19(ii) The chairperson shall schedule a meeting upon
20written request of eight members of the task force.

21(iii) The first meeting shall be convened within 45
22days of the adoption of this resolution by both chambers
23at a time and place established by the Governor.

24(iv) The task force shall hold public hearings as
25necessary to obtain the information required to conduct
26its review.

27(v) Members shall not receive compensation but shall
28be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses
29incurred in service of the task force;

30and be it further

1RESOLVED, That the Department of Health and the Department of
2Military and Veterans Affairs provide staff support to the task
3force; and be it further

4RESOLVED, That, upon request of the Task Force on Women
5Veterans' Health Care, a State agency assist the task force in
6the completion of its duties, including, to the extent permitted
7by law, relating to confidentiality to furnish information and
8advice to members of the task force necessary to perform their
9duties; and be it further

10RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
11have the following powers:

12(1) To examine and analyze the current delivery of
13health care services to women veterans at the Federal and
14State level.

15(2) To review and analyze law, procedures, practices and
16rules relating to delivery of health care services to women

18(3) To hold public hearings for the taking of testimony
19and the requesting of documents.

20(4) To administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses
21appearing before the task force at the request of the

23and be it further

24RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
25have the following duties:

26(1) To accept and review written comments from
27individuals and organizations.

28(2) To make, by November 30, 2014, a final report to the
29Governor, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

30(3) To include in the report under paragraph (2)

1recommendations based on its review:

2(i) To improve the delivery of health care services
3to women veterans.

4(ii) To implement any necessary changes in State
5statutes and practices, policies and procedures relating
6to the delivery of health care services to women

8(4) To make reports as follows:

9(i) The task force may file status reports and
10updates with the Governor, the Senate and the House of
11Representatives as it deems appropriate.

12(ii) A report under this paragraph shall be adopted
13at a public meeting.

14(iii) A report under this paragraph shall be a
15public record under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6,
16No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law;

17and be it further

18RESOLVED, That the Task Force on Women Veterans' Health Care
19expire December 31, 2014.