Women Veterans deserve a seat at the table in medical research. They want doctors who understand them better, with treatments and breakthroughs designed for their needs.
Among the women in a new video released by VA’s Million Veteran Program is Army Veteran Kafi Joseph, a first-generation immigrant and West Point graduate.
As a woman of color and post-9/11 combat Veteran, she knows people like herself are underrepresented in research. This concerns Joseph because research is the backbone of good medicine.
Enrolling in the Million Veteran Program with a simple one-time blood draw is an easy way to change that.
Genetic research needs more women
There are roughly two million living women Veterans. Around 75,000 are enrolled in VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP).
By collecting DNA from as many Veterans as possible, along with information on their health, lifestyle and military exposures, MVP advances medical discoveries that will one day offer Veterans the personalized care they deserve.
Natalie Morales, a Marine Corps combat Veteran and mother of two, recently joined Facebook Live to talk about her experience in the program.
“Unless more women like me and you step up and contribute to research, our mental and physical health needs will never fully be understood,” Morales said.
“Women Veterans represent just 9% of the MVP cohort,” said Kayla M. Williams, the assistant secretary for VA’s Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. She’s a former director of VA’s Center for Women Veterans.
Williams is also a Veteran and participant in MVP.
“If more women Veterans consider joining, VA researchers would have a larger gene pool to be able to study women’s health in greater detail and offer women the specialized care they need and deserve,” she added.
Make a difference for women, enroll in MVP today
In honor of Women Veteran’s Day this June, the women of MVP invite you to join them in the program. Enrolling is an easy way to help women get the specialized care they deserve by advancing women’s health research.
You do not need to receive care at VA to enroll in MVP. Participation in the program is entirely voluntary. Veterans go through an informed consent process to ensure MVP is right for them.
To learn more and enroll today, visit mvp.va.gov or call 1-866-441-6075.
Jennifer Deen is the associate director, Cohort and Public Affairs, Million Veteran Program.