WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has appointed six new members to the Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, an expert panel that advises the Department of Veterans Affairs on a wide array of issues affecting women Veterans.
“VA remains committed to providing quality, timely care for women Veterans, and improving their access to benefits and services,” said Secretary Shinseki. “This committee shapes VA’s efforts to address the diverse and ever changing needs of women Veterans.”
The new committee members are Matrice W. Browne from Olney, Md; Valerie Cortazzo from Pittsburgh; Karen S. Etzler from Amazonia, Mo; Lindsay M. Long from Knoxville, Tenn.; Gundel M. E. Metz from Madison, Wis.; and Kayla Williams from Ashburn, Va.
Established in 1983, the advisory committee makes recommendations to the Secretary for administrative and legislative changes. The committee members are appointed to one-, two-, or three-year terms.
Women Veterans are one of the fastest growing segments of the Veterans population. There are 23 million Veterans; approximately 1.8 million are women Veterans. They comprise nearly 8 percent of the total Veterans population and nearly 5 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care services. VA estimates that by 2020 women Veterans will comprise 10 percent of the Veteran population.
VA has women Veterans program managers at VA medical centers and women Veterans coordinators at VA regional offices to assist women Veterans with health and benefits issues.
VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans
· Dr. Matrice Browne, Olney, Md. -- A retired Army colonel; currently in private practice, specializing in women’s health and gynecology. She also serves as adjunct assistant professor of obstetrics/gynecology at two universities.
· Valerie Cortazzo, Pittsburgh -- A former Navy third class petty officer, a former VA employee, currently an advocate for Veterans in southwestern Pennsylvania, specializing in mental health and women’s issues.
· Karen S. Etzler, Amazonia, Mo. -- A former U.S. Air Force staff sergeant, currently serves as a Veterans service officer and the women Veteran coordinator for the Missouri Veterans Commission.
· Lindsay M. Long, Knoxville, Tenn. -- A former Marine lance corporal, currently works as a chemical operator for a private contractor, and serves as the American Indian representative for the Department of Energy’s Native American Committee.
· Gundel M. E. Metz, Madison, Wis. -- A retired Army sergeant first class; currently serves as a Women Veterans Coordinator for the State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.
· Kayla Williams, Ashburn, Va. -- A former Army sergeant with service in Iraq, currently a project associate in a private research organization, conducting research and analysis on intelligence, defense, military and Veterans issues.