Women's Health Month

Tuesday May 8, 2012

What is it?

As the Army recognizes National Women's Health Month during the month of May, it provides an opportunity to encourage women to visit health care professionals to receive or schedule a checkup and promotes regular checkups as vital to the early detection of various diseases. Army Medicine seeks to raise awareness about and encourages preventive proactive behaviors to enhance women's health.

Why is it important to the Army?

With 14 percent of the Army active duty fighting force and 46 percent of (Army affiliated) eligible Tricare beneficiaries being female, the health of these women plays a vital role in overall Army readiness. 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, we must ensure their unique health needs are being considered and met.

What has the Army done?

The Army Surgeon General identified the need to evaluate issues faced by female Soldiers both in theater and garrison. The Women's Health Task Force (WHTF) was established in December 2011 and assesses the unique health needs and concerns of female Soldiers, conducts a thorough review of the care currently provided, identifies best practices and gaps, and revises, adapts and initiates practices so that we may continue to provide and improve first class care to our female warriors. The Task Force combines talent from different disciplines: civilian and military, officer and enlisted, as well as collaborates with our private industry partners.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

Army Medicine continues to research various issues with specific focus on our female soldiers. Current studies include, but are not limited to, health interventions designed to decrease gynecologic problems in the deployed environment, use of the Female Urinary Diversion Device (FUDD), and health and illness behaviors in women in a deployed setting.

Army Medicine empowers women to make their health a top priority and encourages them to take steps to improve their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and lower their risks of certain diseases. Exercising, eating right, regular checkups and preventive screenings, avoidance of risky behaviors, and paying attention to mental health are paramount in improving one's health. Army Medicine encourages women to be resilient and find balance.

Resources:

Women's Health Tips from Army Medicine
Women's Health.gov
Healthy Women
Army.mil: Women in the U.S. Army

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Events

150 Years: The Battle of Gettysburg: The American Civil War

May
National Mental Health Month- Related website: Army Medicine Behavioral Health
National Asian Pacific Heritage Month
Women's Health Care Month- Related website: Healthy Women
National Military Appreciation Month
May 5 - 7: 5th Annual I. A.M. Strong Campaign Prevention Summit (Registration)

May 11: Military Spouse Appreciation Day- Related website: Army.mil: Army Families

Senior Leaders are Saying

"The reality is we're fighting a different kind of war and living in a different kind of world. These days, it takes only seconds for a picture or photo to suddenly become an international headline. And those headlines can impact the mission we're engaged in. It can put your fellow service members at risk and they can cost lives. Our enemies will seek to turn these incidents in their favor at the very moment that they are losing the war. I want all of you to always remember who you are -- you are part of the best fighting force on the face of the Earth. Never forget that."

- Leon Panetta, the 23rd secretary of Defense, speaking to Soldiers during his first official post visit to Fort Benning, Ga., May 4

Defense secretary visits Fort Benning

What They're Saying

"It's not easy being a [military] spouse. Any traumatic event in your life ... The edge is still there, but the big pain is gone. Time heals."

- Linda Eaton, 101st Airborne Division Vietnam widow and now an Army mom

Vietnam 40 years later: 101st Airborne Division widow to Army mom

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