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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Women Veterans

Women who have served in the Armed Forces are eligible for a variety of veterans benefits. VA actively encourages women to utilize the benefits due them.

The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center recognizes the importance of the contributions made by women Veterans in the service to their country and the price many have paid to preserve our freedoms.

Services Include: 

  • Women’s Health Center
  • Menopause management and hormone replacement therapy
  • Gender specific care and education
  • Cancer screening
  • Gynecology services
  • Breast exams and mammography
  • Reproductive health care
  • Pap Smears
  • Contraceptive services
  • Osteoporosis evaluation and treatment
  • Prosthetic services
  • Infertility evaluation and limited treatment
  • Maternity care benefits
  • Counseling and treatment for sexual trauma and assault occurred during military service
  • PTSD and Substance abuse treatment and counseling
  • Readjustment counseling
  • Women's Inpatient Specialty Environment of Recovery (WISER) 

From left to right: Marlene Cano, BSN, RN-BC, Acting Women Veterans
Program Manager and Breast Care Coordinator; Rola El-Serag, MD, Women's
Medical Director; and Ireatha L. Wardsworth, RN, MSN, MaternityCare Coordinator.

Our Women Veterans Program Manager advises and advocates for women Veterans. She can help coordinate all the services you may need, from primary care to specialized care for chronic conditions or reproductive health. VA health care for women Veterans includes:

Honor, Loyalty, Pride in Service, Patriot, Leader, Military Experience. VA knows women Veterans - what's invisible to most is visible to VA

Primary Care

  • General care includes health evaluation and counseling, disease prevention, nutrition counseling, weight control, smoking cessation, and substance abuse counseling and treatment as well as gender-specific primary care, such as cervical cancer screens (Pap smears), breast cancer screens (mammograms), birth control, preconception counseling, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, menopausal support (hormone replacement therapy).
  • Mental health includes evaluation and assistance for issues such as depression, mood, and anxiety disorders; intimate partner and domestic violence; sexual trauma; elder abuse or neglect; parenting and anger management; marital, caregiver, or family-related stress; and post-deployment adjustment or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Women-and men as well-may experience repeated sexual harassment or sexual assault during their military service. Special services are available to women who have experienced MST. VA provides free, confidential counseling and treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to MST. More information is available about MST from the national Women Veterans Health Care program and the VHA Office of Mental Health.

Specialty Care

  • Management and screening of chronic conditions includes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, glandular disorders, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Reproductive health care includes maternity care, infertility evaluation and limited treatment; sexual problems, tubal ligation, urinary incontinence, and others. VA is prohibited by legislative authority from providing either in-vitro fertilization or abortion services.
  • Rehabilitation, homebound, and long-term care. VA referrals are given to those in need of rehabilitation therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, exercise therapy, recreational therapy, and vocational therapy. Homebound and long-term care services are available as well, limited to those meeting specific requirements.


Rola El-Serag, MD
Medical Director of Women's Health Program

Deleene S. Menefee, PhD
Women Veterans Program Manager
713-791-1414 Ext. 28314

Marlene Cano, BSN, RN-BC
Breast Care Coordinator
713-791-1414 Ext. 25773

Ireatha L. Wardsworth, RN, MSN
Maternity Care Coordinator
713-791-1414 Ext. 25783

The Right Place
Stories of Service
Women Veterans Call Center: 1-855-VA-WOMEN