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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Sept. 24, 2022) – Capt. Sharon House, Naval Hospital Jacksonville director and Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Jacksonville commander, together with the command’s Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS team, prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new electronic health record system MHS GENESIS on September 24 at the hospital. The ribbon cutting recognized the launch of the new electronic health record at the hospital and its Naval Branch Health Clinics Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport. (U.S. Navy photo by Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville/Released).

MHS GENESIS ‘Goes Live’ at Naval Hospital Jackso...

Local News
Sep. 26, 2022

Naval Hospital (NH) Jacksonville and Naval Branch Health Clinics (NBHC) Jacksonville, Key West and Mayport...
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Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to 17 Year-Olds

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Now Available for 12 to...

Local News
Aug. 31, 2022

Adolescents ages 12 to 17 can now receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, the fourth vaccine to be authorized...
Read More
New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming Soon

New COVID-19 Boosters Against Subvariants Coming...

Local News
Aug. 30, 2022

Public health experts say COVID-19 cases are anticipated to spike again this fall, but new vaccine versions...
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Image of monkeypox.

Eligible Airmen, Guardians have access to more m...

Local News
Aug. 22, 2022

The Department of Defense is increasing its supply of the approved monkeypox vaccine, JYNNEOS, which allows...
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JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph Pharmacies change processes

JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph pharmacies implemen...

Local News
Aug. 19, 2022

The Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and Randolph Pharmacy teams are changing some of their processes to...
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collage of active duty service women

After Dobbs Decision, Department of Defense Prov...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision protecting abortion rights, service...
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Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculoskeletal injuries

Walk-in clinic aids service members with musculo...

Local News
Aug. 16, 2022

The Brooke Army Medical Center Musculoskeletal Integrated Practice Unit, located in the Capt. Jennifer M...
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three women patient advocates who are a part of the sexual harassment/assault response and prevention program

New Army policy better enables victims to report...

Local News
Aug. 10, 2022

A new policy recently implemented by the Army is designed to help remove possible barriers that may prevent...
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Local News | Aug. 2, 2022

DOD Officials: Women’s Health Care Unchanged by Supreme Court Decision

While last month's Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization means each state now makes its own laws regarding abortion services, the health care that the Defense Department provides to service members has not changed, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness said.

"Service members can receive the same reproductive health care after Dobbs as they did before the ruling," Gil Cisneros testified today before the House Armed Services Committee. "Consistent with long-existing federal law, 'covered abortions' — those cases that involve rape, incest or where the life of the mother would be endangered — will continue to be authorized to use federal funds and facilities. There is no interruption to this care."

Travel policies related to health care also remain, Cisneros said. If a service member must travel to obtain a covered abortion, she may do so on official status and will not be charged leave.

While the department will continue to be able to provide to service members the same level of health care it has always provided, Cisneros said the department is aware that the Dobbs decision will change available options for some service members when it comes to abortions that are not covered under department policy. Based on laws that may be in effect in the state where a service member is stationed, abortion services may not be available.

"Service members are now having to navigate additional challenges to access essential women's health care services," he said. "Service members and their families, who were previously able to make very personal decisions about when to have a family, may now face greater burdens depending on where they're stationed."

Cisneros told lawmakers that the DOD continues to review its personnel and medical polices as a result of the Dobbs decision.

[See also “DOD Official: No Changes to Women's Essential Health CareDOD Official: No Changes to Women's Essential Health Care”]

"We understand the very personal nature of how the court decision impacts families," he said. "We are being very deliberate in analyzing Dobbs with both focus and compassion. We want to make sure we get this right because it impacts access to essential women's health care and reproductive care."

Another aspect of reproductive health care that lawmakers were interested in concerned the availability of contraception within the military health care system. Seileen Mullen, the acting secretary of defense for health affairs, testified that until recently DOD had contraceptive clinics set up at 18 military treatment facilities across the department. Now, she said, the plan is to have those clinics at all military treatment facilities across the department.

"We have expanded where we have military treatment contraceptive clinics — walk-in clinics," she said. "A woman or man could come up, get counseling, and decide what contraceptives they need that day."

[See also: “Long-Acting-Contraceptives-are-a-Popular-Choice-with-Service-Members”]

Cisneros said the department is changing policy on one form of contraception in particular — the intrauterine device, or IUD — to make it available to more service members.

"We are currently updating our policies so that service members and their families will be able to receive those IUDs through the TRICARE health care system without having to pay a copay, which is currently the thing right now," he said. "We're changing our policy, updating it, so that the copay will be eliminated with that."

Mullen also told lawmakers that the department will soon release results of a survey on women's reproductive health conducted by the RAND Corporation, which reveals a lack of knowledge among service members regarding contraceptive options.

"It's the first time that has been done in 30 years," Mullen said. "It's given us quite a bit of information ... includ[ing that there's] a lack of education about women's options around contraceptives, which are free in our MTFs. All active duty service members get free contraceptives within the MTFs and in our retail pharmacies."

Right now, Mullen said, there is a small copay for active-duty service members to get contraceptives, but congressional legislation might change that — making contraception totally free to service members and their families.

"We also ... have an app called 'Decide and Be Ready' that men and women can use to go through their contraceptive options to decide what's best for them," she said. "We also have those walk-in clinics that are ... being expanded this year, as well. But ... it's sort of astonishing how our young men and women really don't fully know of what their reproductive rights and health care consists of, and we need to do a better job."

Resources Across the Military Health System

For more information on the variety of health services available to female service members and families, the Military Health System offers a comprehensive array of resources, fact sheets, apps, and other information online:

Reproductive Health Services Testimony

You can watch Part 1Reproductive Health Testimony Part 1 and Part 2Reproductive Health Testimony Part 2 of the House Armed Services' Subcommittee on Military Personnel hearings held July 29.

Local News

 

 

Local News | Aug. 2, 2022

DOD Officials: Women’s Health Care Unchanged by Supreme Court Decision

While last month's Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization means each state now makes its own laws regarding abortion services, the health care that the Defense Department provides to service members has not changed, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness said.

"Service members can receive the same reproductive health care after Dobbs as they did before the ruling," Gil Cisneros testified today before the House Armed Services Committee. "Consistent with long-existing federal law, 'covered abortions' — those cases that involve rape, incest or where the life of the mother would be endangered — will continue to be authorized to use federal funds and facilities. There is no interruption to this care."

Travel policies related to health care also remain, Cisneros said. If a service member must travel to obtain a covered abortion, she may do so on official status and will not be charged leave.

While the department will continue to be able to provide to service members the same level of health care it has always provided, Cisneros said the department is aware that the Dobbs decision will change available options for some service members when it comes to abortions that are not covered under department policy. Based on laws that may be in effect in the state where a service member is stationed, abortion services may not be available.

"Service members are now having to navigate additional challenges to access essential women's health care services," he said. "Service members and their families, who were previously able to make very personal decisions about when to have a family, may now face greater burdens depending on where they're stationed."

Cisneros told lawmakers that the DOD continues to review its personnel and medical polices as a result of the Dobbs decision.

[See also “DOD Official: No Changes to Women's Essential Health CareDOD Official: No Changes to Women's Essential Health Care”]

"We understand the very personal nature of how the court decision impacts families," he said. "We are being very deliberate in analyzing Dobbs with both focus and compassion. We want to make sure we get this right because it impacts access to essential women's health care and reproductive care."

Another aspect of reproductive health care that lawmakers were interested in concerned the availability of contraception within the military health care system. Seileen Mullen, the acting secretary of defense for health affairs, testified that until recently DOD had contraceptive clinics set up at 18 military treatment facilities across the department. Now, she said, the plan is to have those clinics at all military treatment facilities across the department.

"We have expanded where we have military treatment contraceptive clinics — walk-in clinics," she said. "A woman or man could come up, get counseling, and decide what contraceptives they need that day."

[See also: “Long-Acting-Contraceptives-are-a-Popular-Choice-with-Service-Members”]

Cisneros said the department is changing policy on one form of contraception in particular — the intrauterine device, or IUD — to make it available to more service members.

"We are currently updating our policies so that service members and their families will be able to receive those IUDs through the TRICARE health care system without having to pay a copay, which is currently the thing right now," he said. "We're changing our policy, updating it, so that the copay will be eliminated with that."

Mullen also told lawmakers that the department will soon release results of a survey on women's reproductive health conducted by the RAND Corporation, which reveals a lack of knowledge among service members regarding contraceptive options.

"It's the first time that has been done in 30 years," Mullen said. "It's given us quite a bit of information ... includ[ing that there's] a lack of education about women's options around contraceptives, which are free in our MTFs. All active duty service members get free contraceptives within the MTFs and in our retail pharmacies."

Right now, Mullen said, there is a small copay for active-duty service members to get contraceptives, but congressional legislation might change that — making contraception totally free to service members and their families.

"We also ... have an app called 'Decide and Be Ready' that men and women can use to go through their contraceptive options to decide what's best for them," she said. "We also have those walk-in clinics that are ... being expanded this year, as well. But ... it's sort of astonishing how our young men and women really don't fully know of what their reproductive rights and health care consists of, and we need to do a better job."

Resources Across the Military Health System

For more information on the variety of health services available to female service members and families, the Military Health System offers a comprehensive array of resources, fact sheets, apps, and other information online:

Reproductive Health Services Testimony

You can watch Part 1Reproductive Health Testimony Part 1 and Part 2Reproductive Health Testimony Part 2 of the House Armed Services' Subcommittee on Military Personnel hearings held July 29.

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