Orlando VA Expands Services

New programs specifically designed for female veterans now available in Lake Nona

October 24, 2019

From primary to specialized care, female veterans now have access to services they need most, thanks to the Orlando VA Healthcare System, which operates nine locations in Central Florida. Those services continue to expand at the Orlando VA Medical Center located in Lake Nona where a recent donation from the Armed Forces Families Foundation provided more than $20,000 for a new lactation room, a renovated GYN procedure room and other clinic improvements.

“We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of female veterans utilizing our women’s health-related services. These enhancements will allow us to offer more private, convenient and quality care to our female veterans in one place,” said Lisa Martel, Women Veteran Program Manager at the Orlando VA Medical Center.

There are approximately 13,000 female veterans enrolled in the Central Florida VA system, 25 percent of which may need access to women’s health services during a visit. In her role, Martel helps female Veterans coordinate all the services they may need from counseling and monthly support groups to in-patient medical/surgical care and breast cancer screenings.

“Each clinic within the system offers mammography machines with advanced imaging features, including the most important which is 3D imaging. Unlike traditional mammography (2D) where it only obtains a single image, the 3D mammography takes multiple images that give doctors a clearer picture of the breast tissue and allows for better and earlier detection of breast cancer,” said Dr. Rana Sara, MD, DABR, Section Chief of Women’s Imaging at the Orlando VA Medical Center.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the U.S. after skin cancer. In honor of breast cancer awareness month, the Orlando VA Medical Center is hosting a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and Fair on Monday, October 28, at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public and will end with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. to officially open the new lactation room.

Learn more about Veteran services and resources for women at www.orlando.va.gov/services/women

Female veterans who are interested in receiving care or joining a local support group in Lake Nona should contact Lisa Martel at 407-631-4088, lisa.martel2@va.gov

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