William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
Women Veterans Wellness Conference a Big Success!
On April 9, 2011, the Madison VA hosted the Women Veterans Wellness Conference, which was co-sponsored by the Women Veterans Health Program and the UW Center for Women’s Health Research. The event was well-attended by women from multiple service eras. The theme for the event was women’s heart health, and the topics around this theme were well-received by those in attendance. Kristin McCaskey, RD provided information on “Eating Healthy” and Kristi Rietz, OTR, led the group in “Tai Chi for Women” exercises and discussed the benefits of Tai Chi. Jill Everson encouraged the group to enroll in My HealthE Vet and was available to help women enroll during the break and after the event. Women’s Health nurses, Jo Ellen Uptegraw and Miriam Ylvisaker were available at a station for a cholesterol blood draw and to collect information on women veterans’ performance measures. The event was characterized by a commemorative atmosphere including lively discussions about the service of women in the military, and steps to ensure good health for women veterans. In addition, resource tables were available to participants, providing information about VA care and services and women’s health across the lifespan.
Participants were also asked to evaluate the event. The conference evaluations revealed an overwhelmingly positive response to the event, and many women were thankful that the VA provided this opportunity. On the whole, the evaluation findings supported the idea that this event was constructive, and served as a valuable opportunity for women veterans to come together, supported by the Women Veterans Health Program, and in support of one another.
Finally, the Women Veterans Health Program would like to express our gratitude to all those who were involved in planning, coordinating and attending this event. The Red Cross provided and served the continental breakfast for the program, and we are thankful for their generosity and continuing support for women veterans.