VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
2nd Annual Baby Shower
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) hosted their 2nd Annual Baby Shower in bldg. 220 on May 16. The free baby shower was open to pregnant Veterans, Veterans who recently gave birth and the pregnant spouses of Veterans.
Last year, VA sent out a memorandum asking us to host a baby shower and we had a great turn-out,” said Renee Andreassen, Women’s Veteran Program Manager, VAGLAHS. “This year it wasn’t a mandate, but Public Affairs, Women’s Health and Voluntary Services jumped on board and were really excited to put this together.”
The three-hour event, which was conducted as part of VA’s Women’s Health Week, included a raffle, baby games, complimentary lunch and sweets, and donated gifts for the approximately 20 attendees’ bundles of joy. The gifts included, but were not limited to, baby clothes, strollers, diapers, breast pumps and child carriers.
“I found out about the baby shower through my caseworker, Elaine. She was monitoring me throughout my pregnancy and even after I had my daughter, she thought I would enjoy this,” said Estela Blackshire, Army Veteran. “This is my first VA event and it’s pretty neat. I was really excited to check this out and it’s nice that they offer this.”
In addition to the baby shower here, there was also a Mother’s Day Event, a Women’s Pamper Me Day Tea and Women Veterans Resource Galas held at the Downtown LA and Sepulveda VA clinics to further commemorate Women’s Health Week. For the other VAGLAHS clinics, resource tables were set up to provide information to the female Veterans about which services are available to them.
“I think events like the baby shower are a nice way of acknowledging our female Veterans,” Andreassen said.
According to Dr. Fatma Batuman, medical director for Women’s Health, VAGLAHS, VAGLAHS has 12 comprehensive women’s health teams that provide primary care, gynecology, mental health, maternity care, nutrition, transgender care, walk-in mammograms and social work which are all made available to the female Veterans.
“I think we deliver huge resources and I want every single woman Veteran who is not using the facility to visit us to see what we can provide,” Batuman said. “When people walk into certain VA campuses they have the perception that women are not being seen, which is why we want to make sure everyone knows about the level of care we offer.”
For more information call (818) 895-9555 and ask to speak with a representative from the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Women’s Health.