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Phoenix VA Health Care System

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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Program

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Program

Welcome LGBT Veterans!

The Phoenix VA Health Care System is committed to providing top quality care to all Veterans including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Veterans. We recognize that diverse populations have distinctive needs, and we endeavor to train our staff in culturally and clinically-competent care for LGBT Veterans.

We are focused on providing the most respectful health care environment possible. Additionally, the Phoenix VA Health Care System embraces the national policies that guarantee access for and the rights of LGBT Veterans. In addition to inclusive culturally competent care, the Phoenix VA Health Care System also provides specialty services for LGBT Veterans to ensure that we are meeting all Veteran healthcare needs. In our efforts to ensure the best care for our LGBT Veterans we have two LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators to help Veterans navigate and connect to services and resources.

Please contact the Phoenix VA Health Care System LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators Michelle Hovis, LCSW (602-277-5551, ext. 3589) or Leonardo Caraballo, PsyD, ABPP (602-277-5551, ext. 4828) with questions or for assistance.

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 LGBTQ identity

•Experience stress due to discrimination and LGBTQ-negativity

•Want to learn more about LGBTQ resources and healthcare services

Phoenix VA offers specialized psychotherapy resources, including the Equality Group held in the Jade Clinic, to help meet the needs of our LGBTQ Veterans. Please contact Leonardo Caraballo, PsyD, ABPP (602-277-5551, ext. 4828) for more information.

Phoenix VA Diversity Action Committee

Phoenix VA strives to improve staff education, awareness, and inclusivity regarding all diversity issues, including providing LGBTQ inclusive and affirming services.  As such, the Phoenix VA Diversity Action Committee seeks to broaden diversity sensitivity and awareness throughout the Phoenix VA and beyond through education, consultation, training, and the promotion of an enhanced culture of inclusivity.

Relevant Policies and Services

Non-discrimination: Our non-discrimination policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (actual or perceived) (VHA Directive 1019).

Visitation: Phoenix VA allows for a same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during their stay. Same-sex partners are recognized as the patient’s family, even if the parties are not legally married.

Advanced Directives: Patients may designate any person as a decision-maker for care should they become unable to make these decisions. This includes designating a same-sex partner as a surrogate decision-maker. Advanced Directives agents are chosen by the Veteran and do not need to be biologically related.

Documentation in Medical Records: Phoenix VA maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation and sexual behavior, as it does with all other private health information.

Changing Your Name and/or Gender in Your Medical Record: Your name in the medical record will reflect your legal name. You have the right to request that name and gender are updated as appropriate. There are established procedures for changing your name and gender, available from the Phoenix VA Privacy Officer at (602) 277- 5551, ext. 2342.

Concerns and/or Complaints: If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate care at Phoenix VA, we encourage you to 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. This information can be easily found on this website through the Services page. In addition, you are encouraged to discuss any concerns with our Patient Advocate at 602-277- 5551, ext. 2774.