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Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital


Women Veterans

Hines VA is committed to meeting the unique needs of Women Veterans by delivering the highest quality comprehensive health care to each woman, while offering her privacy, dignity and sensitivity to gender-specific needs. The Medical Director for the Women's Veterans Program and the Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) oversees the quality of the health care you are provided and are ready to assist you in getting timely access to your health care.

Hepsi Kalapala, M.D.
Medical Director
Women Veterans Program

Katherine M. Gemmell, LCSW, MPH
Women Veterans Program Manager

Women’s health care is also provided at  our Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Aurora, Hoffman Estates, LaSalle, Kankakee, Oak Lawn and Joliet.


Each Veteran is unique. Call 1-800-827-1000 or 708-202-8838, for help determining your individual eligibility status.


Tiny Boots childcare program logo

 Tiny Boots Child Care Program

Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago and VA have partnered to connect Illinois Veterans to quality child care at no cost while attending scheduled medical and counseling appointments, as well as job interviews. The program, called Tiny Boots, is funded through a grant from the IDVA Vet Cash Grant Program that is part of the Illinois Lottery. The Vet Cash ticket launched in 2006 as the first lottery game in the country to designate 100-percent of net proceeds to Veterans.

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be an Illinois Veteran
  • Have a verifiable medical appointment or job interview
  • Notify the YWCA of appointments at least 1 week in advance

Veterans can contact the YWCA at 630-580-3199 or via email at and apply at

The Women's Health Center offers a range of co-located services

  • Comprehensive primary care.
  • Urogynecology – a complete range of treatment options for women with urinary incontinence (leakage), bowel incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and fistula.  We offer pelvic physical therapy, nonsurgical options, and also minimally invasive surgical approaches including robotic-assisted surgery and vaginal surgery.
  • Gynecology services including major and minor surgeries provided onsite.
    • robotic-assisted minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery.
    • sterilization by tubal ligation or Essure® procedure.
    • colposcopy (investigation of abnormal pap smears).
    • cone (LEEP) procedures (treatment of cervical abnormalities).
    • endometrial ablation (treatment of abnormal bleeding).
    • evaluation of chronic pelvic pain.
    • a full range of reproductive health options (including IUDs, birth control pills, NuvaRing®,Implanon®, sterilization).
    • menopausal care including hormone replacement therapy.
    • Acupuncture.
  • Mental health services.
  • Nutrition services.
  • Social work services.
  • Homeless program triage services: linking at-risk and homeless women veterans to resources in the community and within the Hines Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program.
  • PharmD services.
  • Monthly newsletter and brochures.

Our Women Veterans Program Manager advises and advocates for women Veterans. She can help coordinate all the services you may need, from primary care to specialized care for chronic conditions or reproductive health. VA health care for women Veterans includes:

Honor, Loyalty, Pride in Service, Patriot, Leader, Military Experience. VA knows women Veterans - what's invisible to most is visible to VA

Primary Care

  • General care includes health evaluation and counseling, disease prevention, nutrition counseling, weight control, smoking cessation, and substance abuse counseling and treatment as well as gender-specific primary care, such as cervical cancer screens (Pap smears), breast cancer screens (mammograms), birth control, preconception counseling, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, menopausal support (hormone replacement therapy).
  • Mental health includes evaluation and assistance for issues such as depression, mood, and anxiety disorders; intimate partner and domestic violence; sexual trauma; elder abuse or neglect; parenting and anger management; marital, caregiver, or family-related stress; and post-deployment adjustment or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Women-and men as well-may experience repeated sexual harassment or sexual assault during their military service. Special services are available to women who have experienced MST. VA provides free, confidential counseling and treatment for mental and physical health conditions related to MST. More information is available about MST from the national Women Veterans Health Care program and the VHA Office of Mental Health.

Specialty Care

  • Management and screening of chronic conditions includes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, glandular disorders, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Reproductive health care includes maternity care, infertility evaluation and limited treatment; sexual problems, tubal ligation, urinary incontinence, and others. VA is prohibited by legislative authority from providing either in-vitro fertilization or abortion services.
  • Rehabilitation, homebound, and long-term care. VA referrals are given to those in need of rehabilitation therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, exercise therapy, recreational therapy, and vocational therapy. Homebound and long-term care services are available as well, limited to those meeting specific requirements.