Five new members were recently appointed to the VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises VA’s secretary on issues and programs impacting women Veterans.  Established in 1983, the committee makes recommendations to the secretary for policy and legislative changes.

“The committee’s guidance is instrumental in shaping VA policy for women Veterans, and providing insight on their diverse needs,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “VA anticipates the important contributions and fresh perspectives the newest members will offer to this invaluable Committee.”

   New members of VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans

  • Kailyn Bobb, Plumas Lake, California  A U.S. Air Force Veteran; currently pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University.
  • Keith Howard-Streicher, Alexandria, Virginia  A Veteran of the U.S. Army; currently serves as Assistant Director, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Division, at The American Legion.
  • Edna Boyd Jones, Norcross, Georgia A retired U.S. Army Colonel, with service in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom; currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Nursing at Albany State University.
  • Leslie N. Smith, King George, Virginia  A retired U.S. Army Captain; currently serves as co-founder and spokesperson for Fatigues to Fabulous, a non-profit women Veterans organization.
  • Janet M. West, Jacksonville, Florida An active duty U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, with service in Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; currently serves as senior medical officer at Jacksonville Naval Air Station Branch Health Clinic.

Mary Westmoreland (Retired U.S. Army Colonel), who has diligently served on the committee since 2012, was appointed as the committee’s new chair.  Committee members Sara McVicker (U.S. Navy Veteran) Washington, D.C., and Tia Christopher (U.S. Navy Veteran), Dallas, Texas, were reappointed for an additional term.

For information about VA’s benefits and services for women Veterans, visit or contact the Women Veterans Call Center at 1-855-829-6636.  The Women Veterans Call Center is available to address concerns of women Veterans, their families and caregivers, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET.

Image: Left to right: Linda Spoonster Schwartz, VA’s Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning; Barbara Ward, director of VA’s Center for Minority Veterans; Karen S. Vartan, a program analyst in VA’s Navigation, Advocacy & Community Engagement; and Vice President of Vietnam Veterans of America and Bronze Star Medal recipient, Marsha Tansey Four, speak at last month’s Center for Women Veterans’ event at VA Central Office, Washington, DC. The event saluted women Veterans who served during the Vietnam War Commemoration period of Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, and closed with an official pinning ceremony to recognize the Veterans in attendance who served on active duty during that period; each received a lapel pin with the inscription: “A grateful nation thanks and honors you.”Women Vietnam Veterans share experiences during commemoration event
Sec. McDonald briefs the Commission on CareVA transformation is underway, already delivering measurable results for Veterans

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  1. Angela Davis April 25, 2016 at 9:57 am

    How can I resubmit my claims for my surgery.

  2. Virginia G. Galindo April 22, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Will the change in administration finally help women veteran’s be compensated for veteran benefits right now only being awarded to men veterans?

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