VA Boston Healthcare System
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veteran Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA) is committed to providing quality care to all Veterans inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) Veterans. Excellent care has no boundaries.
LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities. The ‘Q’ refers to queer identities, as well as those who are questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The + sign is meant to be inclusive of sexual orientations and gender identities beyond LGBT, including pansexual, asexual, agender, gender non-conforming, gender diverse, nonbinary, gender neutral and other identities.
VA Boston Healthcare System seeks to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBTQ+ Veterans and their families. We are committed to making sensitive and high-quality health care accessible. Our employees are prepared to provide personalized, patient-centered care in a safe, affirming, and welcoming environment.VA Boston Healthcare System is committed to providing top quality care to all Veterans, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or questioning (LGBTQ).
We know that diverse populations have unique needs, so we train our staff to provide care that is tailored to meet the needs of LGBT Veterans.
• We value a respectful health care environment
• Non-discrimination policies are in place and we work to ensure a welcoming environment
• You have the right NOT to be “outed” as LGBTQ in your medical record by any provider
• We know that gender expression, identity, and sexuality can be personal issues, especially for our Veterans
• You have the right to decide what works best and communicate this with your providers
• We encourage LGBT Veterans and families to be aware of these rights as you seek care in the VA Boston healthcare system:
Leaders in LGBT Healthcare Equality
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation awarded the staff of VA Boston the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) 2020 Equality Leader Status!
Affirmative Psychotherapy Services:
LGBTQ-affirmative psychotherapy can assist Veterans who:
- Are unsure about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity
- Want support to affirm their LGBT identity
- Are upset at being treated badly because of their LGBT identity
- Want to learn more about what gender transition services and supports are available
Each September, VA Boston welcomes a new Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow specializing in LGBT Health Care! Our fellow is located on our Brockton campus and provides individual therapy for Veterans identifying as LGBTQ.
Interdisciplinary Transgender Treatment Team (ITTT):
- VA Boston's ITTT offers comprehensive care for transgender Veterans, spanning medicine, psychology, psychiatry, social work, nursing, and endocrinology
- You can ask any of your VA providers to place a consult within the medical record system, notifying the ITTT to work alongside your providers on your treatment plan
- For questions about what transgender-related services are provided, please see the VA Boston Healthcare System and national VA policies
The Transgender Vet-to-Vet Group:
- Welcomes any Veteran with gender identity or gender expression concerns or questions
- Is a safe place to discuss personal issues, how the VA is treating you, and what the VA offers in transgender medicine
- Does not put notes in your medical chart
- Is facilitated by a transgender Vet- to-Vet Certified Peer Specialist
- Does not require a referral from VA staff in order to attend the group
All Transgender Veterans are welcomed!
Transgender Day of Remembrance 2020
Dr. Collen Sloan, LGBT Veteran Care Coordninator and Dr. Claire Burgess, LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator (Brockton) observe Transgender Day of Remembrance. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Concerns and/or Complaints:
If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate care at VA Boston, please make your concerns known!
- Concerns regarding a specific service (e.g., Mental Health, Primary Care) should be directed to the corresponding contact person for that service, which can be easily found on the Services page of this website
- Feel free to contact the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator at your facility about your concerns
- You are also encouraged to discuss your concerns with the Patient Advocate
- To receive a copy of the Memo on processing EEO complaints based on Sexual Orientation, please ask your health care provider
For questions or concerns that are not about a specific Service Line, please contact Dr. Heather Walton Flynn, Chairperson of the VA Boston Diversity Committee, at (774) 826-1009.
Each VA Boston campus has a designated LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator:
Jamaica Plain: Colleen Sloan, Ph.D. (857) 364-5983
West Roxbury: Christie Devine, LICSW (857) 203-5183
Brockton: Claire Burgess Ph.D. (774) 826-1109
LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Program
Every VA facility has a local LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) who can connect you with services and help you navigate specialized resources.
To learn important information about the unique health risks of LGBTQ+ Veterans, download these relevant fact sheets. Here you can also find information about relevant services offered by VA.