Patricia Hayes, Ph.D., is the Chief Officer, Women’s Health, for the Veterans Health Administration. In this role, Dr. Hayes oversees the delivery and quality of health care for women Veterans throughout VA systems.
Starting with her appointment as the Chief, Consultant, Women’s Health Services in 2007, she set the goal of changing the VA’s language, practice and culture to be more inclusive of women. Under her leadership, the number of women using VHA healthcare has more than tripled to over 545,000 today, and the total number of women accessing VA services each year is now over one million.
In 2008, in order to be certain that each woman Veteran would have access to a proficient provider wherever she seeks care, Dr. Hayes launched an expansive program in training women’s health providers; and to date, over 7800 providers and nurses have participated. Today, every VA medical has at least two designated women health providers, as do 91% of the VA Community clinics.
She has successfully worked across VHA to expand initiatives for women Veterans’ health care into a broad range of areas of importance, including cardiac health, reproductive health and birth defect prevention, infertility, and a comprehensive evaluation of care provision to women Veterans.
She chairs the new Under Secretary for Health Women Veteran Modernization Team, an effort to spur the enhancement of services for women Veterans. She is also a member of the VHA steering committee on Health Equity. In addition, she has initiated culture –change campaigns to improve recognition and respect for women Veterans, and to Stop Harassment of any Veteran or employee.
She has collaborated with VA researchers on topics including organization of care delivery, satisfaction with care, and evaluation of quality disparity. Dr. Hayes has published articles on gender disparity in health care and on improvement of care for women across the nation. She is often called upon to speak to Veterans groups and organizations on matters related to healthcare for women Veterans.
Dr. Hayes is also actively involved in staff and provider education at all levels and has initiated projects in the area of virtual simulation technology with Employee Education Systems. Dr. Hayes oversees a program staff and provides administrative and clinical guidance to staff, encouraging development of interest and skills in population approach to service delivery.