Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

WOMEN CoE Education

Main photo

The WOMEN CoE’s primary goals are to provide focused resources to healthcare providers (VA and non-VA) as well as Veterans and their families. Through our national webinars, subject matter expert talks, and conferences, we provide education for our healthcare providers to better understand women Veterans' health.

In the future, WOMEN CoE aspires to educate Veterans on the understanding of unique (potential) health effects from exposures and empower them to work with their healthcare providers in a partnership where both parties have the expertise of the individual condition(s) needed for the best care possible.

Our Reach 

  • VA Office of Academic Affairs Fellowship 
  • National Webinars/Clinical Briefs/Fact Sheets/Newsletters 
  • Monthly Subject Matter Expert Invited Talks 
  • Collaborative Trainings 
  • Invited presentations for our team at VA, DOD and scientific conferences 

Our Collaborations 

  • Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Center of Excellence (AHBPCE) 
  • Women’s Health Research Network (WHRN) 
  • Exposure-Related Transformation Center (EXPRT) 
  • Polytrauma Department, VA Palo Alto 
  • Mental Illness Research Education & Clinical Center (MIRECC) 

WOMEN CoE/Polytrauma Conference:

WOMEN CoE partnered with the VA Polytrauma Systems of Care department to host an accredited, inaugural conference from September 26th - 27th. The conference took place both in-person for local attendees at VA Palo Alto, and virtually, encouraging VA employees from across the country to tune in. The two-day conference titled Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Nuances and Next Steps: Focus on Gender and Exposures highlighted both clinical and research opportunities ahead. WOMEN CoE and Polytrauma co-hosted this important conference because women Veterans are the fastest growing group across all Veteran branches and will represent 18% of the Veteran population by 2040. Despite this, there is an overall lack of studies focused on women’s reproductive, TBI, and exposure-related health. The Polytrauma System of Care, Headache Center of Excellence, and the new WOMEN CoE programs at VAPAHCS have clinical, research, and educational offerings to enhance the understanding and practice of TBI and women’s health as it relates to deployment-related exposures. 

This conference provided educational content related to the sex differences in brain injury symptoms, brain structure & function and treatment in rehabilitation; recognizing the various types of deployment-related exposures that impact Veteran women’s health; and discussing the strengths and weaknesses in current strategies being used to improve Veteran women’s health. Attendees were able to view poster presentations from multiple ongoing projects, and engage with top researchers in their fields from throughout the VA. 

The program evaluation results indicated a variety of VHA staff who attended the conference. 62 total participants attended the conference including dieticians, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, and speech pathologists. 51% of attendees reported learning a “great deal” because of this conference, and 38% reported learning a “fair amount”. This conference was received well and considered a great success.  

Strategic Planning Meeting:

WOMEN CoE conducted an organization strategic planning meeting from January 24th - 25th to plan for the year. The meeting took place both in-person for local attendees at VA Palo Alto, and virtually, for colleagues who were unable to be local. The two-day meeting highlighted the organization's strengths, addressed clinical, research, and educational opportunities ahead, and outlined areas of improvement to ensure longevity and success of the organization. WOMEN CoE organized this important meeting because women Veterans are a priority, and it is important that the mission of the organization is central to the strategic planning.

WOMEN CoE in the VA Community:

Education Resource Title  Link/Location
Webinars Military Exposure Webinar: Impact of Deployment-Related Exposures on Women Health TBD 
10/31/2023 WRIISC-HOME: Sleep Management with Mild-Traumatic Brain Injury & Military Exposure Concerns (Introductory) TMS
11/14/2023 WRIISC-HOME: Military Exposures and Care: Enhancing Military Culture Competence to Optimize Veteran-Centered Care (Introductory) TMS
12/23/2023 WRIISC-HOME: Deployment and Risk of Suicide Among Vietnam-Era Veterans: Forty years of follow-up (Advanced) TMS
1/9/2024 WRIISC-HOME: Examining the Impact of Military Environmental Exposures: Next Steps for Screening and Treating (Introductory) TMS
2/20/2024 WRIISC-HOME: Clinical Guidance and Policies Related to PFAS Exposure in the Military (Introductory) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
3/12/2024 WRIISC-HOME: Understanding Deployment Related Respiratory Disease Workup (Intermediate) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
4/9/2024 WRIISC-HOME: Chronic Multi-Symptom Illness (CMI)/Gulf War Illness (GWI): Veteran care and the 2021 Clinical Practice Guideline: (Introductory) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
5/14/2024 WRIISC-HOME: Situational Awareness of Anomalous Health Incidents (AHI) for Providers (Introductory) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
6/11/2024 WRIISC-HOME: The AHOBPR at 10 Years: Looking back, looking forward (Introductory) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
7/9/2024 WRIISC-HOME: Impact of Deployment-Related Exposures on Women’s Health (Introductory) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
8/13/2024 WRIISC-HOME: Radiation as a Military Exposure (Introductory) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
9/10/2024 WRIISC-HOME: An Update on Yoga as a Treatment for Chronic Symptoms of Gulf War Illness (Introductory) TMS

Non-VA employees click here
Clinical Briefs WRIISC-HOME: Military Exposures and Women’s Health; May 3, 2023 TMS:  VA 131008209
Newsletters “Sex differences-Brain Injury” in the section “Around the WRIISC News: CA WRIISC” Winter 2023 edition WRIISC Advantage
Winter 2023 (
  Women’s Operational and Military Exposure Network (WOMEN) in the section “Around the WRIISC News: CA WRIISC” Fall 2022 edition WRIISC Advantage
  Postdoctoral Fellowships Office of Academic Affiliations
Home (
Subject Matter Expert-Invited Talks Examining the Interaction Between Trauma and Brain Injury Across Populations 
Carrie Esopenko, PhD, Associate Professor at Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai

Association Between Burn Pits & Reproductive Health in Women (to include inflammatory mechanisms)

Timothy Henrich, MD, Medicine Associate Professor at UCSF
  Impact of oral contraceptives and smoking on stroke outcomes in female rats
Ami P. Raval, PhD, Research Associate Professor at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Collaborations Women's Health Research Network Women's Health Research
Network (WHRN) (
  AIRBORNE Hazards Center Of Excellence Airborne Hazards and Burn Pits Center of Excellence -
War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (
  Traumatic Brain Injury System

 Polytrauma/TBI System of Care Home (

  Innovators Network Innovators Network | VHA Innovation Ecosystem
  Stanford University Stanford University