Veterans’ Health


Center for a New American Security

Funding Area

Veterans’ Health


February 27, 2020


Over the past 30 years, women and racial/ethnic minorities have entered the military in ever-increasing numbers, further diversifying the country’s veteran population.

Racial/ethnic minorities made up 21% of New York’s veteran population in 2015, a proportion that is expected to rise to 37% by 2040. Women are expected to comprise more than 10% of New York’s veteran population by 2025. In some ways, minority veterans have greater access to health care than their nonveteran minority counterparts. Yet the racial and ethnic health disparities that persist in the United States are largely mirrored in the veteran community.

The Center for a New American Security conducted a needs assessment on post-9/11 veterans in New York State who are women, racial or ethnic minorities, and/or members of the LGBTQ community. The report examines the extent of disparities that these minority groups face.

A key takeaway from this needs assessment is that veterans are members of American society and are affected by many of the same challenges that their nonveteran peers face. Military service can help overcome many, but not all, structural and institutional barriers that have a disproportionate impact on women and minorities. Understanding the needs of minority veterans will serve all veterans, who will similarly see improvements in services and programs.

On February 26, 2020, NYHealth hosted a conversation with Kayla Williams, Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, to discuss the findings and recommendations from the needs assessment.