Jessica L. Adler
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Adler researches and teaches about the history of health care, war and society, and incarceration in the modern United States. Her first book, Burdens of War: Creating the United States Veterans Health System, is about the World War I-era origins of the nation’s largest integrated health care system. She is currently working on projects examining the history of medical services in U.S. prisons, and late twentieth century transformations in the veterans’ health program.
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Discusses that during and after the war in Vietnam, even as the larger social safety net came under siege, multiple stakeholders ensured that the unique circumstances and concerns of Black veterans were publicly acknowledged and addressed. Draws from research produced by economists and sociologists in the 1960s and 1970s about the economic impacts of military service, statements of Black political leaders and activists, and government documents, this chapter shows that efforts to highlight racial inequality in labor market outcomes among Black former service members fostered a shift toward more expansive and egalitarian veterans’ benefits after the war in Vietnam.
Explores conditions undergirding the establishment of the first Vet Centers and the program’s broader implications, as well as the general issue of why public health systems change over time. Highlights dynamics of how the VA gradually “deinstitutionalized” in the mid-twentieth century, it focuses on trends related to war and health, notions of federal responsibility, health activism and rights of people from marginalized groups, and connections between political ideology and medical diagnoses and treatment.
Examines rates of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations among incarcerated people in Florida during a period when health care management in the state’s prisons underwent transitions.
Highlights research showing that demands on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system have recently escalated, and that VA patients who are low-income, live in rural areas, and lack other sources of coverage get a relatively high percentage of their care from the VA. I propose that the nature and level of demands on the system be thoughtfully considered during policy debates about the VA's challenges.
Synthesizes literature regarding how gender shapes veterans' experiences and identities from a policy, health, and social perspective. Examines veterans' organizations, activism, and ideals regarding public commemorations of service.