JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Women's Health Week wraps up with special emphasis on women who have served in the military.
Jackson’s VA Medical Center hosted a Celebratory Open House event highlighting the services offered, standard treatment, disease prevention and nutrition and mental wellness.
“A lot of times we, as women, ignore medical signals,” said Mable Richardson.
The retired U.S. Army veteran is among the women taking advantage of the Jackson VA Medical Center’s Pink Clinic.
It gave women access to medical professionals and information about procedures relating to health, nutrition, mental health treatment and all around wellness.
Richardson left the military after 39 years with hearing loss.
“I wasn’t aware that there was a need for a follow up,” said Richardson. “So years had passed because no one on the outside had informed me that this VA will cover whatever medical needs that I had.”
According to VA officials, there are approximately 5,000 female veterans in central Mississippi. Clinics like these provide a one stop shop for prevention and treatment.
Women could also learn more about reproductive health, disease prevention, compensation and pensions.
“Some of the things that you encounter in the military is really stressful,” said Women’s Veterans Program Manager Debra Pierce-Robinson. “We want the atmosphere to be welcoming. We don’t want them to be apprehensive at all. We want them to know that this is their home."
Dr. Selika Sweet is a Family Medicine physician at the Jackson VA. She said the facility takes walk-ins, is open daily and provides urgent care that caters to women.
“There is a shortage of primary care throughout the country and especially in the state of Mississippi, and if you live in the metro Jackson area that’s even more of a reason to come,” said Dr. Sweet.
Virginia Boyd served in the U.S. Naval Waves during the Vietnam War. The 67-year-old praises the VA’s nurses and physicians.
“Six time cancer survivor since 1989, and if you’re ever gonna get cancer this VA in Jackson, Mississippi is the place to be treated," said Boyd. “Those nurses down there, top of the line.”
Jackson’s Women Veteran Clinic was created in 2013. Sweet said as one of the last in the country to open, it has the latest resources not featured in all facilities.