VA Providence Healthcare System
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veteran Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA) is committed to providing quality care to all Veterans inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) Veterans. Excellent care has no boundaries.
LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities. The ‘Q’ refers to queer identities, as well as those who are questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The + sign is meant to be inclusive of sexual orientations and gender identities beyond LGBT, including pansexual, asexual, agender, gender non-conforming, gender diverse, nonbinary, gender neutral and other identities.
VA Providence Healthcare System seeks to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBTQ+ Veterans and their families. We are committed to making sensitive and high-quality health care accessible. Our employees are prepared to provide personalized, patient-centered care in a safe, affirming, and welcoming environment.
The VA Providence Healthcare System is committed to providing top quality care to all eligible Veterans including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Veterans. We recognize that diverse populations have distinctive needs, and we train our staff in culturally and clinically-competent care for LGBT Veterans.
We are focused on providing the most respectful health care environment possible. Some relevant policies and services are discussed briefly below:
Non-discrimination: Our non-discrimination policy has specific language that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Visitation: We allow for a same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay. Same-sex partners are recognized as the patient’s family, even if the partners are not legally married.
Advanced Directives: Patients may designate any person as a decision-maker for care should you become unable to make these decisions yourself. This includes designating a same-sex partner as a surrogate decision maker. Advanced Directive agents are chosen by the Veteran and do not need to be biologically related.
Documentation in Medical Records: The Providence VAMC maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation and sexual behavior, as it does with all other private health information.
Interdisciplinary Transgender Treatment Team: The Providence VAMC has a designated provider who have been trained on the healthcare needs of transgender Veterans.
Concerns and/or Complaints: If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate care at the Providence VAMC, we encourage you to make your concerns known. Concerns regarding a specific service (e.g., Mental Health, Primary Care) should be directed to the corresponding contact person for that service. This information can be easily found on this website through the Services page. In addition, you are encouraged to discuss your concerns with the Patient Advocate.
Below are additional resources related to LGBT healthcare needs and services:
VHA Directive 2013-03
10 Things Gay Men Should Discuss With Their Healthcare Provider
10 Things Bisexuals Should Discuss With Their Healthcare Provider
10 Things Transgender Persons Should Discuss With Their Healthcare Provider
Transgender Americans Veterans Association
LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Program
Every VA facility has a local LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) who can connect you with services and help you navigate specialized resources.
To learn important information about the unique health risks of LGBTQ+ Veterans, download these relevant fact sheets. Here you can also find information about relevant services offered by VA.