Organizational characteristics associated with the availability of women's health clinics for primary care in the Veterans Health Administration

Mil Med. 2007 Aug;172(8):824-8. doi: 10.7205/milmed.172.8.824.


Objective: Women's health clinics (WHCs) offering integrated primary care (PC) and gender-specific services reduce fragmentation and improve quality of care for women. Our objective was to understand organizational influences on the development of WHCs for PC delivery in Veterans Health Administration (VA) facilities.

Methods: We surveyed PC directors at 219 VA facilities about the presence of separate WHCs for PC and evaluated organizational characteristics (e.g., authority, staffing, and resources) associated with their development.

Results: One hundred thirty-three VA medical centers (61%) have established WHCs for PC. VA facilities with WHCs for PC were significantly more likely to have PC leadership distinct from subspecialty care (odds ratio = 3.62; 95% confidence interval, 1.45-9.05). Local PC staff mix, team structure, and resource characteristics were not associated with WHCs.

Conclusions: With the growth of women in the military and, in turn, in the VA, autonomy of PC leadership may drive VA-based innovations in women's health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs*
  • Veterans
  • Veterans Health*
  • Women's Health