Erie VA Medical Center
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.
Erie VA Medical Center 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.
Our Patient Non-Discrimination Policy has specific language that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (actual and perceived).
Erie VAMC Visitation Policy allows 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.
Erie VAMC Definition of “Family”
The Erie VAMC adopts the definition of “family” put forth by the Human Rights Campaign’s National Healthcare Equality Index. “Family” refers to any person(s) who plays a significant role in an individual’s life. This may include individual(s) not legally related to the individual. Members of “family” include spouses, domestic partners, and both different-sex and same-sex significant others.
Veterans with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) and Related Identities
“LGBT and related identities” is an inclusive term for sexual and gender minorities. Veterans may have other ways of describing themselves, so the term “LGBT and related identities” is used to inclusively recognize the full range of sexual orientation and gender identity minorities. All Veterans are welcome at VA, even those who identify as a sexual or gender minority. Sexual and gender minority Veterans have faced stigma and discrimination, which can affect health. As a healthcare institution, we strive to make sure that Veterans with LGBT and related identities know that they are welcome at VA. This includes feeling comfortable enough with their provider to discuss their sexual orientation identity, birth sex, and self-identified gender identity to ensure they are getting the best care possible.
Available Health Care Services
There is an LGBT VCC at every facility to help you get the care you need. Contact the LGBT VCC at your nearest facility.
VA health care includes, among other services:
- Hormone treatment
- Substance use/alcohol treatment
- Tobacco use treatment
- Treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections/PrEP
- Intimate partner violence reduction and treatment of after effects
- Heart health
- Cancer screening, prevention and treatment
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.