CWLC Initiative: Eliminating Health Barriers for Women Veterans (2014)

The Eliminating Health Barriers Project was a collaborative effort between CWLC and numerous veteran services organizations across California. The focus of the project was to work directly with women veterans and other key informants to develop workable, gender-appropriate, and responsive solutions to address current obstacles to accessing health care services. The project involved low-income women veterans living in rural areas who were most likely to have limited access to health facilities. Central to the project were the many focus groups and one-on- one interviews conducted in conjunction with our partners that included female veterans living in Bakersfield, Monterey, Tulare, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The findings from these focus groups and discussions can be accessed at the links below.

Project Background

From July 2013 to August 2014, a series of informal focus group discussions and one-on-one interviews were conducted with women veterans across California, with an emphasis on reaching veterans in rural areas.  Women veterans were recruited through partnerships with local women veteran organizations, word of mouth, and through various social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and other online networks.  Focus group participants and interviewees were provided with childcare and transportation assistance, as well as gift cards to compensate their time.  The purpose of the focus groups was to identify current barriers to needed health care services, including mental health, physical and dental care.  The Project included 63 veterans from multiple service eras and branches of the U.S. Military, including the National Guard and Reserve.  Ages of participants ranged from 23 to 95.

The Project is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the California Women’s Law Center and the following partners:  California Statewide Collaborations for our Military and Families, Women Veterans Strategic Alliance, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Eduardo “Eddie” Ramirez, MSgt USAF (Ret.) (OneVet OneVoice Founder), Kathleen West and Angela Rich, U.S. Army Veteran.  The Project was made possible by a grant from Swords to Plowshares and The California Wellness Foundation.


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