Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is an original cosponsor of H.R. 2941, legislation to expand participation in the Women’s Health Transition Training pilot program. This peer-to-peer education program is designed to help inform women military members preparing to separate from active duty service about the women’s health services available through the VA.”

“With over 2 million women courageously serving in our military, we must ensure we are adapting to an increase in women veterans who are transitioning out of their service,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The VA offers important women-centric health care services, yet many women veterans do not utilize the services at their disposal due to a lack of public awareness. This bipartisan legislation aims to raise awareness and increase women’s enrollment into the VA health care system as quickly as possible after their military service is complete, to ensure continuity in their health care.”

Last month, Congresswoman Stefanik signed onto a letter to the Army and Navy Secretaries regarding this topic. Part of that letter reads: “There is evidence that women veterans face different health-related challenges compared to their male counterparts. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the age-adjusted suicide rate for women veterans is almost twice as higher than the rate for civilian women. For women veterans who do not use Veteran Health Administration (VHA) services, the rate of suicide is even higher. However, for women veterans who are VHA users, there is no statistical difference with civilian women. With this in mind, it is especially alarming that women veterans do connect not with VA services until an average of 2.7 years after separating from the military. A primary barrier to post-service care for women veterans is lack of awareness of VA services. Additionally, many women veterans have misperceptions regarding their eligibility for VA health care and about the quality of care available at the VA, resulting in lower enrollment and utilization of VA health care among women veterans compared to their male counterparts.”