Standard Process Inc. sponsored a plenary session at the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) annual conference, which took place Nov. 15 to 18 in Atlanta. Friday’s plenary session titled, “Leading from the Front … Transforming Care for Women Veterans,” reinforced the initiatives implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a patient-centered approach of integrative health care that is effective, affordable and accessible.
“I have personally seen the health challenges our veterans face after returning from active duty and it is heartbreaking,” said Charlie DuBois, Standard Process president. “We sponsored this session because we want to communicate why we think it’s necessary to create integrative health care options that provide female veterans with solutions to help ease their health struggles.”
DuBois was joined by a group of panelists including John Hale, chief communications officer, Department of Veteran Affairs; Lynn Lafferty, Pharm-D, C.N.C., N.D., NOVA Southeastern University; Retired Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead, STEADFAST Leadership, LLC; Carol Ann Malizia, D.C., Girls, Gals, Gurus; and Judi Kosterman, Ph.D., WestCare Foundation, to provide evidence to the legislators as to why patient-centered care is so imperative. Case studies and examples demonstrating patient-centered care effectiveness, and solutions on how to make it more available were presented.
Halstead shared her personal journey of wellness with the NFWL members, telling the audience, “I have my smile back. I have my quality of life back. I am no longer defined by my disease. I am defined by my purpose. If I had only known then (while on active duty in the military), what I know now, I could have taken better care of myself. More importantly, I could have taken better care of my soldiers. My new mission is to share this message, raise awareness and make a difference.”
During the conference, a resolution was presented to NFWL members urging their leadership to increase access to and support for the services of natural medicine (chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathy and homeopathy, nutritional supplements, etc.) for our nation’s veterans.
Kosterman told the legislators, “We need to keep focused on the things that move us forward. Women are willing to explore new solutions and these solutions lie within what whole food nutrition and integrative medicine can do for us. As leaders, we are all responsible to carry this message of hope forward.”
Women are quickly approaching 10 percent of the nation’s 23 million veterans. America’s returning women warriors are exhibiting many unique effects of deployment and combat, creating new challenges for the VA, both primary care and behavioral health providers, and policy makers. According to the VA, lifetime female health care expenses are a third higher than male expenses, a higher proportion of female Veterans are diagnosed with mental health problems than male veterans, and health care quality scores related to contributors of cardiovascular disease risk were worse for women veterans when compared to male veterans.
For these reasons and more, Standard Process has been working with women veteran not-for-profit organizations, state VA offices, and WestCare Foundation to bring awareness and access to natural solutions for health and well-being. The company’s mission is to provide a unique, holistic health care support for military and veteran organizations. The focus is on patient-centered care through education and training.