VA Palo Alto 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.
VA Palo Alto 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.
Welcome to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veteran Care Coordinator (LGBT VCC) Program
LGBT VCC Program Overview:
The LGBT VCC Program is a link between LGBT Patient Care Services in VA Central Office, Washington, D.C., and VA providers at local Medical Centers. Due to the size and complexity of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS), we have three LGBT VCCs who are stationed at different campuses (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Capitola). The VAPAHCS LGBT VCCs serve to accomplish the following goals:
1. Create a welcoming environment for LGBT Veterans across the ten VAPAHCS campuses.
2. Provide education and clinical consultation for VAPAHCS providers regarding VHA LGBT Veteran Care Policies and Directives.
3. Support the development and expansion of LGBT Veteran Care Services at VAPAHCS.
4. Provide resources and information to assist LGBT Veterans receiving optimal care at VAPAHCS.
5. Build LGBT Community Partnerships and conduct community-based outreach.
The LGBT VCC is a collateral duty assignment for licensed clinicians; however, the duties are administrative in nature (i.e., instead of providing direct clinical care, LGBT VCCs support clinicians who are serving LGBT Veterans). LGBT VCCs are tasked with “the implementation of national and VISN-level policies related to LGBT Veteran health at the local level. LGBT Patient Care Services explains that “when the LGBT VCC becomes aware of an issue, he/she investigates, takes corrective action and, as appropriate, offers recommendations to facility leadership for further action.” For example, if a residential program is unsure how to assign gender-specific rooms for transgender patients, the LGBT VCCs are available to assist the program in implementing the VHA Directive 2013-003 Providing Health Care for Transgender and Intersex Veterans. LGBT VCCs also build LGBT community partnerships and coordinate networks of care throughout VAPAHCS.
What is the difference between the LGBT VCC Program and the LGBTSA SEP?
The LGBT VCCs address LGBT Veteran Care issues. The LGBT Staff and Allies Special Emphasis Program addresses issues relevant to LGBT employees. Together, the LGBT VCCs and LGBTSA provide LGBT-related trainings to VAPAHCS employees and LGBT Pride activities during the month of June at the VA and in the community. The VAPAHCS LGBT VCCs are eager to support your work with LGBT Veterans by providing information, resources, training, and clinical consultation.
All Gender Bathrooms
In accordance with California Assembly Bill No. 1732, VAPAHCS is changing existing single stall bathrooms to All Gender bathrooms. Single stall bathrooms at VAPAHCS’ new Monterrey Clinic have All Gender signage. Check back here for maps of All Gender Bathrooms on VAPAHCS campuses as they become available.
VAPAHCS is honored to have received the distinction of being rated a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" since 2013 by the Human Rights Campaign's Health Care Equality Index.
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.