Toward a VA women’s health research agenda: Setting evidence-based priorities to improve the health and health care of women veterans


The expansion of women in the military is reshaping the veteran population, with women now constituting the fastest growing segment of eligible VA health care users. In recognition of the changing demographics and special health care needs of women, the VA Office of Research & Development recently sponsored the first national VA Women’s Health Research Agenda-setting conference to map research priorities to the needs of women veterans and position VA as a national leader in Women’s Health Research. This paper summarizes the process and outcomes of this effort, outlining VA’s research priorities for biomedical, clinical, rehabilitation, and health services research.

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Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Elizabeth M. Yano PhD.

Additional information

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

This work was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Research & Development (Project # CSF 04-376) and the VA HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior (Project # HFP 94-028) and overseen by the VA Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Service. The project was approved by the IRB at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. We are indebted to John Demakis, MD, Shirley Meehan, PhD, MBA, Martha Bryan, EdD, and Serena Chu, PhD, in VA HSR&D Service for planning support; Ismelda Canelo, Sam Garcia, Lisa Tarr, Lorena Barrios, Allyson Szabo, and Vera Snyder-Schwartz at the VA Greater Los Angeles HSR&D Center of Excellence for project support; Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught (USAF, Ret.), former Department of Veterans Affairs’ Chief of Staff Nora Egan, Deputy Under Secretary for Health Michael Kussman, MD, and Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management Laura Miller, CHE, MBA, for their leadership support; and Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo, MD, PhD, of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Loretta Finnegan, MD, of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, for serving as conference panelists. We would also like to acknowledge the input of all conference participants. This work was partially presented and generated at the National VA Women’s Health Research Agenda-Setting Conference held in Arlington, Virginia, November 8–9, 2004. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Yano, E.M., Bastian, L.A., Frayne, S.M. et al. Toward a VA women’s health research agenda: Setting evidence-based priorities to improve the health and health care of women veterans. J GEN INTERN MED 21, S93–S101 (2006) doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00381.x

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Key words

  • women’s health
  • research and development
  • research priorities
  • veterans
  • health care quality
  • access and evaluation