Tulsa VA Clinic Holds Grand Opening Of Women Veterans Clinic

Tuesday, July 17th 2012, 7:44 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa's Ernest Childers Veterans Outpatient Clinic held a grand opening for its Women's Clinic Tuesday.

The clinic offers primary care for women who have served our country.

The nurse practitioner for the Women's Health Team at the VA said that women veterans are notorious no-shows for healthcare appointments.

She's confident this women-specific clinic will change that.

Inside Tulsa's VA is a room you wouldn't necessarily correlate with the military. It's painted with soft colors and decorated with candles and personal pictures.

"It's quiet back here," said Sharalee Savage. "It's peaceful back here and they'll say, ‘I feel safe.'"

Savage is the nurse practitioner behind the new Women's Veterans Clinic at the VA.

It caters to the healthcare needs of veterans like Deborah Sheperd.

"I was in Korea for ten months," Sheperd said.

Shepard served in the Army. She comes to the clinic for help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"It's easier to talk to the doctors here than another doctor, because they don't always understand what you've gone through or what you've been through in the military," Sheperd said.

Women veterans represent the fastest growing group of the military looking for VA healthcare. Oklahoma's clinics have seen an increase of 30% in the past four years.

Shepard and Savage emphasized the importance of the safety the clinic offers the veterans.

"They know. And you don't have to explain every time you see them," Sheperd said.

Savage said the new clinic is so nice that some of the men veterans are a bit jealous.

"We have men coming by, ‘Why can't I come?' and we're like, ‘You don't have the right parts,'" Savage said.

Light heartedness aside, Savage said what matters is taking care of those who have taken care of us.

"How can you not like your job when you are caring for the people who protected my rights?" Savage said.

The Women's Veterans Clinic can care for 810 patients. They've been open a month and already have almost 500 patients.

The Clinic is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and is located at 9322 E. 41st Street

For more information on services offered by the Women Veterans Clinic, visit here