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Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN)


The Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) is an initiative within the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) focused on addressing women veterans’ health care needs. It functions as a collaborative network of primary care providers and researchers, aiming to generate knowledge and implement evidence-based practices to enhance women veterans’ healthcare services. By facilitating multi-site studies on women’s health care issues, WH-PBRN strives to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of VA healthcare services for women.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) is a dedicated program focused on enhancing the quality and effectiveness of healthcare for women veterans, by promoting research and collaboration within the VA medical community.
  2. WH-PBRN encourages interdisciplinary research studies and incorporates women’s health clinics in VA facilities nationwide, allowing for diverse patient populations and a wide range of women’s health topics to be addressed.
  3. The ultimate goal of WH-PBRN is to improve health outcomes and promote a better understanding of the unique healthcare needs and preferences of women veterans, which contributes to the development of policies and practices tailored to support their wellbeing.


The Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) is significantly important as it addresses the specific healthcare needs and concerns of women veterans, a rapidly growing demographic within the VA system.

Recognizing that women have unique health issues and may require different approaches to care, the WH-PBRN aims to improve health outcomes and enhance the overall quality of care for female veterans by conducting innovative research, fostering collaboration among researchers and practitioners, and facilitating the dissemination of evidence-based practices.

Understanding and addressing the distinct healthcare needs of women veterans will ultimately enable the VA to serve this population more effectively, ensuring that they receive the comprehensive care and support they deserve.


The Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) serves a crucial purpose for women veterans by addressing specific healthcare needs and concerns. Its primary objective is to strengthen the quality of care provided to women veterans by facilitating research and development initiatives centered around their unique health requirements.

This network fosters collaboration, innovation, and dissemination of vital information among healthcare providers, researchers, and the veteran community in order to develop evidence-based practices designed to meet the specific demands of women veterans while improving their health outcomes. The WH-PBRN not only focuses on the physical health of women veterans, but also aims to address mental and emotional well-being, which play significant roles in overall health.

There is a myriad of critical research areas under the purview of the WH-PBRN, such as reproductive health, mental health, cancer screenings, and chronic disease management. By promoting enhanced communication and engagement among stakeholders involved in research and care provision, this network is capable of accentuating the importance of women’s healthcare in the veterans’ healthcare spectrum.

Ultimately, the WH-PBRN demonstrates a strong commitment towards providing tailored medical solutions, better resources, and exceptional care to women veterans, empowering them to live healthier and more fulfilled lives.

Examples of Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN)

The Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) is a program developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on improving the quality and delivery of healthcare for women veterans. The WH-PBRN seeks to achieve this by facilitating research studies on women’s health issues, implementing efficient and innovative practices, and partnering with community healthcare providers. Here are three real world examples that demonstrate the impact and implementation of the WH-PBRN program:

A WH-PBRN-coordinated study on cervical cancer screening: In an effort to improve cervical cancer screening rates among women veterans, the WH-PBRN conducted a study in multiple VA medical centers across the United States. This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to cervical cancer screening, and as a result, the findings contributed to the development of targeted interventions to improve the screening rates. This not only positively impacts women veterans’ health outcomes but also highlights the broader benefits of the WH-PBRN.

The expansion of mental health services for women veterans: Recognizing that women veterans may experience unique mental health challenges, such as military sexual trauma, the WH-PBRN has helped develop specialized programs and services tailored to their needs. These programs include evidence-based treatments and group therapy sessions specifically designed for women veterans. By continuing to monitor women veterans’ mental health outcomes and seeking input from patients, the WH-PBRN ensures these programs effectively address the needs of this growing population.

Partnership between VA and community healthcare providers: To better serve women veterans, the WH-PBRN has facilitated partnerships between the VA and community healthcare providers. These collaborations have not only improved access to care for women veterans but also enabled the sharing of best practices and innovations between the VA and community providers. For example, these partnerships have led to the implementation of telemedicine and tele-gynecology services in some VA facilities, increasing access to specialized women’s health care for veterans in rural areas or those with mobility restrictions.

FAQs for Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN)

What is the Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN)?

The Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) is an initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on conducting research on women’s health to improve patient care for women veterans in the VA health care system. It aims to facilitate primary care research collaboration among VA researchers, providers, and other stakeholders while addressing gender-specific healthcare issues.

Why was the WH-PBRN created?

The WH-PBRN was created to address the specific health care needs of female veterans and to improve their overall health outcomes by engaging in research focused on women’s health in the VA system. It was established in response to the growing number of female veterans and their unique health care needs that had not been comprehensively studied.

How does WH-PBRN benefit women veterans?

WH-PBRN benefits women veterans by conducting research on various aspects of women’s health, including reproductive health, mental health, chronic conditions, and preventive care. The insights gained from such research help improve the quality of care provided to women veterans in the VA health care system, ensuring they receive comprehensive, tailored, and effective treatment and services.

Who is eligible to participate in the WH-PBRN research studies?

Eligibility to participate in WH-PBRN research studies may vary depending on the specific research project. Generally, women veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system and meet the study criteria may be eligible to participate. Providers, researchers, and other stakeholders within the VA system may also collaborate on WH-PBRN projects.

Where can I find more information on the Women’s Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN)?

To find more information about the WH-PBRN, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Women’s Health Services website or contact your local VA medical center to inquire about research studies related to women’s health. You may also search for research projects and publications on the WH-PBRN or reach out to VA-affiliated researchers in the field of women’s health.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Gender-specific care
  • Women Veterans’ healthcare needs
  • Women’s Health Services (WHS)

  • Maternity care coordination
  • Military sexual trauma (MST) support

Sources for More Information