TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson VA hosted an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new Women's Health Clinic on Tuesday.
The new clinic has four times the space of the old one, to accommodate the growing number of women veterans.
VA officials said they expect the number of women veterans they serve to double to 9,000 within the next five years.
According to the Pentagon, only about 42,000 women were enlisted in 1973 on active duty. That number has grown nationally to at least 204,000.
The new clinic is considered at the highest level in the VA system, because of the services it offers.
Officials said they hope that women veterans of all ages will find it a safe and comfortable place.
All veterans, both men and women, share many health issues, but certain issues, such as PTSD, can be very different.
"There's also a sensitization in that women sometimes do not bring a lot of these issues to the force when they're in an environment that's not safe and gives them a feeling of 'there's a safety net for me that I can be open and share my issues,'" said Dr. Fabia Kwiecinski, chief of staff for the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System (SAVAHCS).
The clinic offers primary care, health screenings such as mammograms, OB-GYN care, surgical treatments and mental health care.
"This so extended and so much more," said World War II Navy Veteran Helen Anderson Glass, "They're touching so many facets that have never been touched. And we were overlooked for many years and we are certainly getting marvelous treatment."
The clinic is located at 3601 S. 6th Ave. on the second floor of Building 81.