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Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD)


The Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD) is a specialized division within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on addressing the unique health needs and concerns of female veterans. Its main objectives are to develop, promote, and disseminate knowledge concerning women’s health issues, while ensuring high-quality, comprehensive healthcare services for female veterans. The WHSD collaborates with other VA divisions and external partners to improve and expand health care services, research, and education specific to women veterans.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD) is a division within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that focuses on addressing and improving the healthcare needs of female veterans.
  2. WHSD conducts research, develops policies, and provides specialized training for healthcare professionals to ensure that the unique needs of female veterans are taken into consideration and that they receive proper care.
  3. By focusing on women’s health issues specific to veterans, WHSD aims to enhance the overall health and well-being of female veterans while providing them with the tailored support and services they have earned through serving their country.


The Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD) within the VA benefits system is essential because it specifically focuses on addressing the unique healthcare needs of female veterans, who, as an increasing population within the military, require tailored programs and services.

The WHSD is dedicated to ensuring that women veterans receive gender-sensitive care, have access to comprehensive medical services, and that their health issues – such as reproductive, breast and pelvic care, mental health, and maternal care – are recognized and adequately addressed.

By elevating women’s health as a priority, the WHSD promotes equality, advocates for specialized treatments, and endeavors to improve the overall quality of healthcare for female veterans, ultimately contributing to better overall health outcomes for this critical population.


The Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD) serves a vital purpose within the VA benefits system by addressing the unique health care needs of female veterans. Its primary objective is to improve the overall quality of healthcare services provided to women who have served in the military and now rely on VA facilities for their medical needs.

To achieve this, the WHSD focuses on research, implementing new policies, and providing guidance to effectively meet the distinct and diverse needs of female veterans, which often differ from those of their male counterparts. The division works collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders, including clinicians, researchers, and policymakers, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive approach to address the multifaceted challenges women face when accessing VA benefits.

Among the many responsibilities of the WHSD is spearheading research that considers gender-specific variations in healthcare, especially regarding reproductive health, mental health, and the impact of military service on women’s overall well-being. Additionally, the division guides the development of educational resources and training programs that enhance service providers’ competency when addressing the healthcare needs of female veterans.

By providing healthcare systems with the tools and insights needed to better cater to these unique needs, the WHSD plays a critical role in improving health outcomes for female veterans. Through these efforts, the Women’s Health Science Division not only advances health equity within the VA healthcare system but also helps demonstrate genuine appreciation and support for the invaluable contributions women have made to our nation’s defense.

Examples of Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD)

The Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD) within the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) specifically aims to provide specialized care and address the unique healthcare needs of women veterans. Here are three real-world examples of the work carried out by the WHSD:

Comprehensive Women’s Health Centers: The WHSD has established comprehensive women’s health centers that provide a full range of services, from preventive screenings to maternity care, mental health support, and treatment for gender-specific conditions. These centers not only provide high-quality care to women veterans but also help raise awareness about the unique health needs of this population.

Gynecological Services: The WHSD has enhanced the availability of gynecological care within the VA healthcare system, ensuring women veterans have access to services such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and reproductive health care. This expansion of services also includes greater access to specialized providers and clinicians who are trained to address the unique health needs of women veterans.

Mental Health Services: The WHSD recognizes that women veterans face unique challenges related to mental health, such as higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), military sexual trauma, and intimate partner violence. The division has established mental health services specifically catering to these needs, providing women veterans with access to therapy, counseling, and support groups tailored to address these issues.In summary, the Women’s Health Science Division works to ensure that women veterans receive comprehensive and gender-specific care tailored to their unique health needs, and they achieve this through several initiatives, such as establishing comprehensive women’s health centers, expanding gynecological services, and providing targeted mental health services.

FAQ: Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD)

What is the Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD)?

The Women’s Health Science Division (WHSD) is a department within the VA that focuses on the specific health needs and medical care for women veterans. It aims to improve the quality of care and services provided to women veterans by conducting research, policy development, and education.

What services and programs does the WHSD offer?

The WHSD offers various services, such as comprehensive healthcare services, maternity care, reproductive health services, mental health services, and preventive screenings. In addition, the WHSD also offers specialized programs to meet the unique needs of women veterans, such as military sexual trauma care, intimate partner violence assistance, and support for female homeless veterans.

How can a female veteran access WHSD services?

Female veterans can access WHSD services by first enrolling in the VA healthcare system. Once enrolled, they can visit their local VA medical center or community-based outpatient clinic to receive care and access services specifically tailored to their healthcare needs. Additionally, female veterans can contact the Women Veterans Call Center at 855-829-6636 for more information on available services and programs.

Are there any eligibility requirements for the WHSD services?

Eligibility for WHSD services depends on various factors such as the veteran’s military service, length of service, and discharge status. Further eligibility criteria may include income limits and available resources. All women veterans are encouraged to enroll in VA healthcare to determine their eligibility for WHSD services and other VA benefits.

Can a female veteran receive care from a women’s health specialist or provider?

Yes, all VA medical centers have designated women’s health providers who specialize in providing comprehensive healthcare services for women veterans. VA community-based outpatient clinics may also have women’s health providers, and if not, they can coordinate care with a nearby VA facility or authorized community care provider to deliver these services.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Women Veterans Health Care Program
  • Gynecological and Reproductive Health Services
  • Maternity Care Coordination
  • Women’s Mental Health Services
  • Gender-specific Primary Care

Sources for More Information