LGBTQ+ Veteran care
VA Tennessee Valley health care 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.
Connect with a care coordinator
Care we provide at VA Tennessee Valley health care
We promote the health, welfare, and dignity of Veterans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) or a related identity. We focus on ensuring a safe, welcoming, and affirmative environment when providing you with sensitive and high-quality health care services like:
- Mental health services, including psychosocial assessments for hormone therapy and gender confirming surgeries
- Creative arts therapies
- Hormone therapy
- Gender-affirming prosthetics
- 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
- Other prevention, screening, wellness, and testing services
Policies and practices to know
The care coordinator can help you get started with care or with navigating any of these issues.
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.
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.
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.
Documentation in medical records: VA Tennessee Valley maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and gender identity, just like any other private health information.
Changing name or sex in records:
Your medical record will reflect your legal name, and you can include the name you go by (your Preferred Name) in your medical record as well. If you legally change your name, there are established procedures for changing your legal name in the medical record with the VA Privacy Officer.
Your birth sex and gender identity are also important parts of who you are. You can now update your record to include your preferred name and gender identity by going to VA.gov. If you have not already created an account on VA.gov, you will need to do so. Sign into your account, go to your profile, select personal information, and edit your preferred name and gender identity. This change will update your medical record. Check out this fact sheet for to learn more about updating your birth sex and gender identity.