New Mexico VA marks 100 years of serving women veterans

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When we think of U.S. military veterans, we may think of men first – but women have served since the American Revolution.

It wasn’t until after World War I, in 1923, that the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers accepted women veterans for medical care and hospital stays.

100 years later, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is celebrating that diamond milestone of serving women veterans, including in New Mexico.

The Raymond G. Murphy Medical Center in Albuquerque serves veterans across the state and southern Colorado. Officials say around 6,000 patients are women.

The VA has focused on primary and preventive care. Over the years, they’ve also shifted to focusing on and expanding to specialty care.

“That includes everything from breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening, initial treatment to abnormal bleeding,” said Tieneka Baker, the GYN section chief with the New Mexico VA. “I came to the VA as a gynecologist, so we were able to expand into more surgical options and more complex care.”

Leaders with the VA say the goal is to keep serving those who, at one point, laid their lives on the line to serve us – even if they aren’t able to come to the Albuquerque metro for care.

“We serve a lot of patients who live far away from care. Part of that care here is we have a lot of virtual options that we can offer through a VA platform. So, for patients who are unsure if they want to be seen or for follow-ups too, we can do those virtually,” said Sarah Jeney, an urogynecology surgeon with the New Mexico VA.

For more information on the VA and 100 years of healthcare for women veterans, click here.