May is Women's Health Month
May 2, 2014
By Kirk Frady
In 2013, women made up 16% of the total Army fighting force and 52% of TRICARE's Army eligible beneficiaries. Army Medicine recognizes and appreciates the unique challenges of being a woman in the Army Family; whether Soldier, spouse, DA civilian or retiree.
May 11-17 is National Women's Health Week and National Women's Check-Up Day is May 12. Army Medicine (AMEDD) seeks to raise awareness, educate, and empower women to make their health a top priority and encourage them to take steps to improve their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Sleep, activity, nutrition, regular checkups and preventive screenings are paramount in improving one's health.
In 2011, Army Medicine established the Women's Health Task Force (WHTF), comprised of a team of subject matter experts in a variety of disciplines from the Army, sister services, and outside agencies to address the unique health concerns of women serving in the military.
The WHTF is leading organizational change and shaping education, equipment and care for a unified campaign across commands and services as we expand and advance roles of women throughout the force. WHTF initiatives are designed to optimize and standardize services to women across all services, including the development of clinical treatment algorithms for common gynecological conditions, and standardized women's health education for all Soldiers, leaders, and providers.
The Women's Health Service Line (WHSL) was established as part of the Army Medicine 2020 Campaign Plan and Operating Company Model. The WHSL will align efforts to meet the commander's four priorities to include adopting evidence based practices for coordinated and patient-centric care. By developing strategy that establishes system-wide services and policies, the WHSL promotes collaboration, decreases redundancy and unwarranted clinical variance, and ultimately improves the quality and satisfaction of care to women beneficiaries. The WHSL is closely aligned with Soldier 2020 as part of the AMEDD's enduring effort to support the integration of women into previously closed jobs and units.
Female service members proudly serve in our nation's military, making up 15.8 percent of the force today including active duty, reserve, and guard. The percentage of females continues to grow, up about 4 percent from 20 years ago. Army Medicine recognizes the magnitude and impact of women's health and appreciates the unique challenges of being a woman in the Army whether Soldier, family member, or veteran. In order for women to be fully integrated and effective members of the team, the Army must ensure women's unique health needs are addressed.