New VA clinic designed to serve women veterans

LEEDS, Mass. (WWLP) – The VA Medical Center in Leeds opened their brand new women’s health clinic. The clinic is designed to deal with the needs of a growing number of female veterans. In the year 2000, 160,000 women were seen at the VA. By 2013, that number was 390,000.

Doctors, nurses, patients, and other women veterans clapped and cheered as the ribbon was cut on the new clinic Thursday. The center, which is seven years in the making, includes exam rooms and a procedure room. It was designed to be a comfortable and private place for women to get specialized care, ranging from mental health to maternity, to cancer screenings.

“Oh I think it’s one of the best things. Very needed. Maybe it’s because they have a new director who is very active,” said Fern Robinson, who served in the Air Force.

“It gives us the capacity to see our women veterans in a clinic that is welcoming and warm,” said VA Women’s Health Medical Director Dr. Nicole Kirchen. “It’s also a symbol of our dedication to serving women as veterans.”

The VA says the growth rate of women veterans has outpaced men, which brought about an increased demand for a women’s clinic.

Last year, the VA of Central and Western Massachusetts treated more than 1,300 women.

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