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VA NY Harbor Health Care 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.

We Serve All Who Served poster

VA NY Harbor Health Care 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.

LGBT Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in accessing quality health care. Our Patient Non-Discrimination Policy has specific language that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Below are relevant policies and services:

The VA NY Harbor Healthcare System Definition of "Family"
The VA New York Harbor Healthcare System adopts the definition of "family" put forth by the Human Rights Campaign's National Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). "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.

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. Please inform staff if you desire to create an Advance Directive.

VA Takes Pride in Serving LGBT Veterans

Documentation in Medical Records
The VA NY Harbor Healthcare System maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation and sexual behavior as it does with all other protected health information. We encourage you to inform your healthcare provider of your sexual orientation/gender identity so appropriate care can be provided.

Concerns and/or Complaints
If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate care at the Manhattan or Brooklyn VA Medical Centers, we encourage you to make your concerns known to your Provider and/or a Patient Advocate.

LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators
LGBT VCCs help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) veterans access quality care and facilitate a welcoming environment for LGBT patients.

• Brooklyn Campus LGBT VCCs: Melissa Corpus, Ph.D. 718-836-6600 x6351 & Tara Dewitt, Ph.D., 718-836-6600 x8958
• Manhattan Campus LGBT VCC: Christine Ingenito, Ph.D. (212) 686-7500 x3179

Let's Talk.  Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Matter in Health Care.

Do Ask! Do Tell! LGBTQ Support Groups
The Brooklyn and Manhattan Campuses offer support groups for veterans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. The purpose of these groups is to provide a safe and supportive space in which veterans who identify as LGBTQ can meet and share current and past struggles, offer each other support, and learn to thrive as LGBTQ identified individuals. Specific attention is paid to the difficulties of navigating dual identities. If interested, please contact:

• Brooklyn: Melissa Corpus, Ph.D. 718-836-6600 x6351
• Manhattan: Christine Ingenito, Ph.D. (212) 686-7500 x3179

Helpful Links for LGBT Veterans

LGBT Veteran Resources*
American Veterans for Equal Rights
Outserve/Service Members Legal Defense Network
SAGEVets
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
The LGBT National Help Center

National and Local Resources for Transgender Veterans*
Changing Your Name and Gender in Medical Records Kits
VA National Policy on Transgender Care
International Foundation for Gender Education
National Center for Transgender Equality
10 Things Transgender Persons Should Discuss with Their Healthcare Care Provider
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Trans LifelineTSA Information for Transgender Travelers

LGBT Health Resources*
CDC LGBT Health
American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts for Gay & Bisexual Men
American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts for Lesbian & Bisexual Women
10 Things Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Transgender Persons Should Discuss with Their Healthcare Provider
LGBT Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet: Transgender Female Health Care
LGBT Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet: Lesbian and Bisexual Female Health Care
LGBT Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet: Gay and Bisexual Male Health Care
LGBT Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet: Transgender Male Health Care

VA Resources
The VA Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Patient Non-Discrimination Policy
LGBT Organizations
LGBT Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet

* Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites. Links will open in a new window.

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.

Health Information

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.


Gay and Bisexual
Men
Health Care Fact Sheet

Gay and Bisexual Men Health Care Fact Sheet

Lesbian and Bisexual
Women
Health Care Fact Sheet

Lesbian and Bisexual Women Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender
Women
Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender Women Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender
Men
Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender Men Health Care Fact Sheet

Contact

Melissa Corpus, Ph.D.
LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator
Brooklyn Campus
718-836-6600 Ext. 6351
melissa.corpus@va.gov

Tara Dewitt, Ph.D.
LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator
Brooklyn Campus
718-836-6600 Ext. 8958
tara.dewitt@va.gov

Christine Ingenito, Ph.D.
LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator
Manhattan Campus
212-686-7500 Ext. 3179
christine.ingenito@va.gov

Resources

LGBT Updates