Military Sexual Trauma (MST) - VA NY Harbor Healthcare System
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VA NY Harbor Healthcare System


Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

Sexual trauma is sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and other acts of violence of a sexual or sexually biased nature or repeated unsolicited, verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature toward a male or female which becomes threatening and impedes functioning.

There are MST coordinators and counselors in all VISN3 medical centers are also available in several of our network Vet Centers and the New York Regional Office. All counseling services are confidential and are tailored to individual needs.

Effects of Sexual Trauma

The psychological effects of a sexual trauma can include:

  • Avoidance of places or objects which recall memories of the traumatic incident
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Alcohol and other substance abuse
  • Recurring and intrusive thoughts and dreams about the trauma incident
  • Non-specific health problems
  • Problems with interpersonal relationships

Although not all services are available at each medical center or vet center, some of these services include:

  • Gender specific counselors
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Assistance with access and linkage to all VISN 3 health care services
  • Benefits counseling
  • Information and education


Military Sexual Trauma Coordinators
VA James J. Peters Bronx Medical Center
Lynn A. Repasky, LCSW
MST Outpatient Coordinator
Stress and Readjustment Therapist
718-584-9000 x6847
VA Hudson Valley Health Care System
Fran Gitlin, RN
914-737-4400 x 3330
VA New Jersey Health Care System
Risa Goldstein, PsyD
973-676-1000 x 2671
VA New York Harbor HealthCare System Manhattan Campus
Sheila Keezer, PMHCNS-BC
212-686-7500 x3114
VA New York Harbor HealthCare System Brooklyn Campus
Dr. Shalini Sehgal
718-836-6600 x6479
St. Albans Community Living Center
Annie Lee Jones, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
718-526-1000 x2308
VA Northport Medical Center
Gary Sandler, CSW
631-261-4400x 2505


Region 1A Vet Center Military Sexual Trauma Counselors
Brooklyn Vet Center
Phyllis Krauser
Harlem Vet Center
Elizabeth Carr
Manhattan Vet Center
Jo Potestivo
Newark Vet Center
Jane Harris
Queens Vet Center
Francisca Nazario
Staten Island Vet Center
Deborah Goldstein
White Plains Vet Center
Kathleen McNamee


1. What if a veteran does not meet general eligibility guidelines? 
Even if a veteran does not meet general eligibility requirements based on his/her length of service or other circumstances, he/she may be eligible for treatment due to an injury, illness or other psychological condition as a result of a physical assault, battery or harassment of a sexual nature while in the military.

2. What are MST eligibility requirements for VHA? 
A veteran does not need to be service-connected nor have previously reported a sexually traumatic event to be eligible for MST services. Veterans may be able to receive free MST-related care even if they are not eligible for other VA care. For example, there are no length of service or income requirements to receive MST-related care. If a veteran has questions about eligibility, he/she should speak directly with a VA Medical Center or Vet Center contact listed on this page for further information.

3. What about Reservists and National Guardsmen who experience MST while on active duty for training? 
Reservists and members of the National Guard may receive treatment for the medical and psychological effects of sexual trauma they experienced while on active duty or active duty for training status. Please refer to your local medical center eligibility department or Medical Center MST coordinator for more information.

4. What if the Veteran does not meet eligibility criteria for either VHA or the Vet Center? 
The veteran with a dishonorable discharge may want to consult with the local MST Coordinator, Vet Center or Veterans Service Organization to see what services may be available in the community. Veterans who feel they received a dishonorable discharge as a result of MST can also appeal for a change in discharge status.

Benefits for Victims of Military Sexual Trauma 

For information on determining if you are eligible for benefits please contact the New York Regional Office at 212-807-3971. For additional information you can also call the national toll free number at 1-800-827-1000 or visit the VA web site.


Contact Info


  • Manhattan Campus
    Brooklyn Campus

Contact Number(s)

  • 212-686-7500 Ext. 7704
  • 718-836-6600 Ext. 6479

Hours of Operation

  • Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM