LGBTQ+ Veteran care
VA Portland Health Care System employees receive training in clinical care that is responsive to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ Veterans. Our trained LGBTQ+ Veteran care coordinators are fully equipped to support the health, welfare, and dignity of you and your family.
Adding your gender identity & preferred name to your health record helps your VA providers personalize your care.
Many people use a name that is different than the one on their medical insurance or government-issued identification (e.g., driver’s license). This is especially the case for transgender and gender diverse people. Update “Preferred Name” if you’d like staff to use a first name that’s different from your legal name when you come to VA.
To enter your gender identity and preferred name at VA.gov Home | Veterans Affairs, click “Sign In” in the upper righthand corner. Open your profile and click on “Personal Information”.
Connect with a care coordinator
Care we provide at VA Portland health care
We promote the health, welfare, and dignity of Veterans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) or related identities. We focus on ensuring a safe, welcoming, and affirming environment when providing you with sensitive and high-quality health care services like:
Primary Care Services
Primary Care Teams are the first place to start when seeking care at the VA. Your Primary Care Provider can provide
*An assessment by a Mental Health provider is required before your Primary Care Provider (PCP) can prescribe hormones. Your PCPC will refer to Mental Health for a brief consultation before prescribing hormones.
Referrals to Dermatology for medically necessary, permanent hair removal
Referrals to Speech Language Pathology Vocal training/vocal coaching
Testing, counseling, and care for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, including PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for Veterans at risk for HIV
Health Care Information and Resources
Mental Health Services
- Assessments for hormone therapy
- Assessments for gender-affirming surgeries and pre-surgical letters of support
- Support Groups
Mental Health offers five support groups for LGBTQ+ Veterans:
- LGBTQ+ Veteran Support Group (Wednesday Group)
- LGBTQ+ Veteran Support Group (Thursday Group)
- Transgender Women’s Support Group
- Gender Diverse Support Group
- Whole Health Women and Gender Expansive Group
Policies and practices to know
The LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator can help you get started with care or with navigating any of these issues.
Advance directives: Veterans may designate any person as a decision-maker for care if they won't be able to make these decisions themselves. This includes same-sex partners. Advance directive agents are chosen by the Veteran and do not need to be biologically related.
Changing name, sex, or gender identity in records: Your name in your medical record will reflect your legal name. However, the VA is also able to include the name you go by in parenthesis next to your legal name.
The sex listed in your medical record will also reflect your legal documentation. However, you can add your gender identity in the self-identified gender identity field to better
You have the right to request that your name and sex are updated as appropriate. There are established procedures for changing your name and sex with the VA Privacy Officer.
Definition of family: "Family" may include individual(s) not legally related to the individual. Family members include spouses, domestic partners, different-sex and same-sex significant others.
Documentation in medical records: We maintain the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and gender identity, just like any other private health information.
Visitation: A same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual can be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of the patient's stay.
LGBTQ + Health Committee
An Interdisciplinary LGBTQ+ Health Committee comprised of representatives from departments across the health care system help guides our care for LGBTQ+ Veterans.
HIV and Infectious Disease
Speech Language Pathology
Women Veterans Program