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 including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Veterans. Excellent care has no boundaries.
VA Providence Healthcare System seeks to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBT Veterans and their families. We are committed to making sensitive and high quality health care accessible. Our policies and practices focus on ensuring a safe, welcoming, and affirmative environment of care for LGBT Veterans. Our employees receive training in clinically competent care that is responsive to the unique needs of LGBT Veterans.
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
LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Program
As of March 2016, each VA facility has a local LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) who is appointed by their facility leadership. The VCC is responsible for promoting best practices for serving LGBT Veterans and connecting LGBT Veterans to services.
To learn important information about the unique health risks of LGBT Veterans, download these relevant fact sheets. Here you can also find information about relevant services offered by VA.