LATEST ON LIONESS: "Since its release in 2008, LIONESS has contributed significantly to the mainstreaming of the movement to recognize and respond to the needs of American servicewomen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. As a catalyst for military-civilian dialogue, the film has led to tangible change in a number of arenas by framing an important but largely invisible issue in meaningful human terms. Among the film’s notable accomplishments is the activation of policy discussions between the Department of Defense (DoD), VA, and the House Armed Services Committee over how to document the service of women soldiers in operational missions outside their military occupations. This is crucial because it affects women’s ability to establish “service connection” for conditions related to their military service and thus their ability to receive appropriate VA benefits.
The film has also played an important role in support of recent legislation affecting healthcare for women veterans, namely the 2009 Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act which was signed into law by President Obama on May 5th, 2010. Other significant changes resulting from our outreach are the adoption of LIONESS as a training tool nationwide within the VA health- care infrastructure, and its use in an innovative pilot program in North Carolina designed to sup- port rural veterans by offering evidence based, best practice behavioral health training to non-VA mental health and primary care doctors."