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Resources for VHA Facilities

All VA medical centers already meet a majority of the HEI's Non-Discrimination and Staff Training policy requirements, thanks to the VHA's system-wide patient, visitation and employment policies. All individual medical centers need to do is update your local version of each national policy and publicize the national policy. Click on the links below for resources available for VHA facilities completing the Healthcare Equality Index. You can also find resources at the VHA HEI Sharepoint Link.

Patient Non-Discrimination Policy

National VHA policy prohibits patient discrimination based on both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” This policy is available online at the VA national website (and as a PDF here) for your reference in updating your local version of this national policy.

You can also view HRC Sample Patient Non-Discrimination Policies for more guidance on crafting a patient non-discrimination policy.

Equal Visitation Policy

In February 2012 the VHA distributed a Visitation Outreach Memo. This memo mandated VA medical centers to update their local policies, websites, and posters to prohibit both patient discrimination and visitation discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and all Medical Center Directors and VISN Directors certified compliance with the memo requirement. You can see the policy here: VHA National Policy: Visitation Policy Outreach Memo [PDF] for your reference in updating your local version of this national policy or visit the VHA's page on the Rights and Responsibilities of VA Patient Family Members.

You can also view HRC Sample Visitation Policies for more guidance on crafting an equal visitation policy.

Communicating Your Policies

To communicate their policies to patients, all medical centers already have both the national LGBTQ-inclusive patient non-discrimination and equal visitation policies online via the VA national website.

For the second example of communicating these policies to patients, many VA medical centers have used the Patient Rights poster available from the VHA. The VHA has sent us the instructions below to share with any VA hospitals that need to access this poster—we hope this will be helpful for you:

The posters can be ordered from the Hines Service Distribution (SDC) using FPOrders. You will want to contact your Publications Control Officer. Below are the details the PCO will need to order:

  • POSTER VA 10-88, P91985, VA PATIENTS RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES POSTER 18" X 24"
  • POSTER VA 10-89, P91986, VA PATIENTS RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES POSTER 24" X 36"
  • POSTER 10-284, P96280, FAMILY MEMBER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 18" X 24"
  • POSTER 10-284LG, P96625, FAMILY MEMBER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 24" X 36"

Visit our page Publicizing Your Patient Non-Discrimination and Equal Visitation Policies to view examples of the materials HEI participants use to publicize their LGBTQ-inclusive policies.

Employment Non-Discrimination

The VHA national employment policy includes both “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” The VHA National Policy: VA EEO Policy Statement is available here for your reference in updating your local version of this national policy.

You can also view HRC Sample Employment Non-Discrimination Policies for more guidance on crafting an employment non-discrimination policy.

Training in LGBTQ Patient Centered Care

HRC has approved VA Talent Management System (TMS) & VA eHealth University (VEHU) LGBTQ training to meet the on-going LGBTQ education training requirement. Learn more about the specific courses and how to get credit for your employees that complete these courses.

Additional VHA Resources in LGBTQ Patient-centered Care

VHA LGBT Health Program
Learn more about the programming offered by the VHA’s LGBT Health Program in the Office of Patient Care Services.

Providing Health Care for Transgender and Intersex Veterans
This directive establishes policy regarding the respectful delivery of healthcare to transgender and intersex Veterans.

Provision of Health Care for Veterans Who Identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual
This directive establishes policy regarding the respectful delivery of healthcare to Veterans who identify as lesbian, gay and bisexual.