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VHA LGBTQ+ Health Program

 

 

LGBTQ+ Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) welcomes all Veterans, families, caregivers, and survivor beneficiaries, including diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. “LGBTQ+” refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identities. The “+” sign captures identities beyond LGBTQ, including but not limited to questioning, pansexual, asexual, agender, gender diverse, nonbinary, gender-neutral, and other identities. LGBTQ+ Veterans have faced stigma and discrimination, which can affect health. As a healthcare institution, we need to make sure that LGBTQ+ Veterans know that they are welcome at Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Vision Statement

LGBTQ+ Veterans will choose VA and receive affirming care and services to achieve optimal health and well-being. 

Available Health Care Services

There is an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBTQ+ VCC) at every facility to help you get the care you need. VHA policies require that your health care is delivered in an affirming and inclusive environment and that VHA employees respect your identity. Contact the LGBTQ+ VCC at your nearest facility.

VA health care includes, among other services:

LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinators (VCCs)


LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinators
(VCCs) share personal insights about the work they do and the importance of LGBTQ+ visibility at VA.  LGBTQ+ VCCs talk about:

  • Health care for transgender & gender diverse Veterans at VA
  • Their personal commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ Veterans
  • Gender-affirming health care including hormones and prosthetics
  • Advocating for LGBTQ+ Veterans and promoting VA policies for respectful care
  • Experiences as Veterans that inform their work at VA
  • Why LGBTQ+ Veterans should choose VHA care
  • Providing connection to community and with VHA
  • Training and education for VA staff to create a welcoming environment
  • Coordinating with many health specialties for Veteran care

Transgender and gender diverse Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in accessing quality health care. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is working to be a national leader in health care for LGBTQ+ Veterans and assure that high-quality care is provided in a person-centered, respectful environment. LGBTQ+ VCCs help Veterans get the care they need.  VHA providers know about specific risk and protective factors that impact health care based on gender identity, sexual orientation, race, age, and other individual factors. Health care is best when Veterans and their providers have good relationships.  LGBTQ+ VCCs are there to support Veterans to make connections with their providers.

Reach out to your local facility’s LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator today:  https://www.patientcare.va.gov/LGBT/VAFacilities.asp

Does my sexual orientation or gender identity matter to my health care?

As a result of stigma, stress, and discrimination, LGBTQ+ Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in health care. We want you to be comfortable talking with your VA providers about all aspects of your life, so we can offer you the best care possible.

Learn about health risks and why you should talk to your provider about your sexual orientation identity, birth sex, and self-identified gender identity in the fact sheets below.

Learn about the resources and support available for LGBTQ+ Veterans who have faced challenges related to coming out or are unsure what services they are eligible for at VA.


Gender-Affirming Surgeries in VA Health Care Coverage

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VA provides gender-affirming care to transgender Veterans, with the exception of gender-affirming surgery. VA has moved methodically in its consideration of a potential change in coverage to provide gender-affirming surgery because it must be implemented in a manner that has been thoroughly considered and ensures that the services made available to Veterans meet VA’s rigorous standards for consistent and quality health care nationwide. VA remains committed to providing care to transgender Veterans and will continue to take steps to consider any potential changes to the provision of medical care to that important population.

Need Help? LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Services

There is an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBTQ+ VCC) at every facility to help you get the care you need. VHA policies require that your health care is delivered in an affirming and inclusive environment and that VHA employees respect your identity.

Reach out to your local facility’s LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator today:  https://www.patientcare.va.gov/LGBT/VAFacilities.asp
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