Town Hall Held for Women Veterans in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Town Hall Held for Women Veterans in Reno

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The VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno hosted an open house and town hall for female veterans on Tuesday. 

We learned how the group is reaching out to support women who have served in the military with a specialized program called Women Veterans Program.

There wasn’t a huge turnout, but the women there had all had plenty of questions about services provided by the VA specifically for female vets...and that's exactly what the Women Veterans Program was hoping for. “There's a number of women veterans that might not even know that they're eligible or services," says Francie Mahoney, the Women Veterans Program Manager.

"We have so many people out there who could be getting benefits from the VA health system, from the VA benefits system and they don't even realize it," says Charley Smith, a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and VA volunteer.

There are about 8,000 female veterans in northern Nevada, but only 2,400 are enrolled with the VA

The Women's Program caters to gender specific needs - like maternity and other health care, plus unique mental health care as well. "We focus a lot of attention on military sexual trauma, which is not unique to women veterans but at pretty high rate among the women veterans," Mahoney explains.

Air Force veteran Kelli Root was medically discharged after serious adverse effects from the anthrax vaccine. Today Root's service dog helps her through constant dizziness and even alerts her before one her blinding migraines."Benefits that you can't even explain, because, if I'm out - if he alerted right now, I'd be able to get home and be safe and not have to worry about how many times I have to pull over,"  says Kelli.

Root came today to let other women know about the GI Dog program and find out about services for herself. The VA wants other women to do the same. "Come in and enroll, you never know if you're eligible for something if you don't enroll in the VA system," says Smith.

Today's open house is over, but enrollment in the Women Veterans Program is always open.

Click here for more information -  or contact Francie Mahoney at or call 775-785-7225

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