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Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI)


The Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) is a program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on evaluating and improving healthcare services provided to female veterans. The initiative conducts research and collects data on the unique healthcare needs of women veterans in order to develop and implement best practices. This ensures that the VA can provide appropriate care and address any gaps in services specifically for women veterans.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) is a research program designed to evaluate and improve the healthcare services provided to female veterans within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system.
  2. WHEI focuses on understanding the unique health needs of women veterans and prioritizing their well-being by addressing issues such as mental health, reproductive health, chronic illnesses, and the overall quality of care provided by the VA.
  3. The initiative also aims to enhance training and education for VA healthcare providers, ensuring they have the necessary tools and resources to offer tailored and compassionate care to female veterans, and fostering a culture of gender sensitivity within the organization.


The Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) is crucial as it represents the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) commitment to addressing and improving the unique health care needs of female veterans.

Through WHEI, the VA aims to close the gap in health disparities faced by women in the veteran community by conducting comprehensive research and program evaluation.

This initiative is essential since it focuses on enhancing the understanding of women’s health needs, identifying barriers, and implementing targeted interventions to improve access to quality care, health care services, and resources designed specifically for female veterans.

Overall, WHEI underscores the importance of meeting the diverse needs of the growing population of women veterans, ensuring that their health and well-being are prioritized.


The Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) is a critical component of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) commitment to offering comprehensive and gender-sensitive healthcare services for women Veterans. The primary purpose of WHEI is to evaluate, analyze, and improve the quality and accessibility of healthcare services tailored to the unique needs of women Veterans.

This initiative recognizes the significant growth in the women Veteran population, which consequently increases the demand for high-quality and specialized healthcare and wellness services, including but not limited to reproductive care, mental health services, and treatment for conditions related to military trauma. To fulfill its mission, WHEI collaborates with researchers, healthcare providers, and the VA administration in assessing the effectiveness and accessibility of healthcare services offered across the VA system, ensuring that these services are responsive to the evolving needs of women Veterans.

Moreover, WHEI drives policy and program decisions by providing data-driven insights into the status and trends of gender-specific healthcare services. Through continuous monitoring, evaluation, and dissemination of research findings, WHEI plays a vital role in enhancing the provision of comprehensive healthcare services to women Veterans, contributing to their overall well-being and supporting their successful transition back to civilian life.

Examples of Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI)

The Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) is a research program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that aims to improve the quality of healthcare services for women veterans. Here are three real-world examples related to the WHEI:

Women Veterans Cohort Studies (WVCS): As part of the WHEI, the VA launched the Women Veterans Cohort Studies, a research project aimed at examining gender differences in healthcare access, utilization, and outcomes. This project collects and analyzes data on women veterans’ experiences within the VA healthcare system, examining factors like mental health, cardiovascular disease, and musculoskeletal disorders. The findings from the WVCS can be used to guide policy changes or modifications of healthcare delivery services to better meet the unique needs of women veterans.

The Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN): The WH-PBRN is another initiative within the WHEI program. This network is designed to develop clinical practices and provide healthcare professionals with resources to address the specific health care needs of women veterans. Through the WH-PBRN, clinicians and researchers work together to discover new and efficient ways to provide optimal care to female veterans, which may include conducting research studies, sharing best practices, and implementing evidence-based interventions.

Maternity Care Coordination: Recognizing that many women veterans have specific reproductive health needs, the WHEI has made strides in enhancing maternity care coordination. For instance, the VA Women’s Health Services partnered with the VA Office of Community Care to develop and implement the Maternity Care Coordination Handbook. This handbook helps to streamline processes, provides guidance on communication between VA facilities and community providers, and ensures that pregnant women receive timely and appropriate prenatal care. The WHEI uses the data collected through these efforts to inform recommendations on how to improve maternity care coordination services for women veterans within the VA healthcare system.

VA Benefits: Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) FAQ

What is the Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI)?

The Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) is a program designed to improve the quality and delivery of women’s health care services within the VA system. Its goal is to address gaps, enhance access to care, and ensure that women Veterans receive comprehensive and gender-sensitive care.

Who is eligible for the Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI)?

Female Veterans who are enrolled in and eligible for VA health care can access the services provided through the Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI). This includes those who served in active military, naval, or air service, and who were discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

What types of services are provided through the Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI)?

WHEI provides various services, including comprehensive primary care, mental health care, maternity care, specialty care, and prevention and screening services. Additionally, it offers programs to help women Veterans manage chronic conditions, sexual assault and harassment counseling, and access to residential treatment programs for those struggling with mental health or substance use disorders.

How can I access the Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) services?

You can access WHEI services by contacting your local VA health care facility or the Women Veterans Call Center at 1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636). The call center can provide you with information on available services, help you find a women’s health practitioner, and assist with scheduling appointments.

Does the Women’s Health Evaluation Initiative (WHEI) provide care outside the VA?

In some cases, the VA may authorize care for women Veterans outside of VA facilities through the Community Care Network (CCN) or other community partners. This decision depends on the specific needs of the Veteran and the availability of services within the VA health care system. VA providers work closely with community partners to ensure that women Veterans receive coordinated, high-quality care.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Gender-specific healthcare services
  • Women Veterans Healthcare System

  • Comprehensive women’s health evaluations
  • VA Women’s Health Research Network
  • Women’s Health Transition Training

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