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Overton Brooks VA Medical Center

 

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veteran Care

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA) is committed to providing quality care to all Veterans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Veterans. Excellent care has no boundaries.

We Serve All Who Served poster

Overton Brooks VA Medical Center seeks to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBT Veterans and their families. We are committed to making sensitive and high quality health care accessible. Our policies and practices focus on ensuring a safe, welcoming, and affirmative environment of care for LGBT Veterans. Our employees receive training in clinically competent care that is responsive to the unique needs of LGBT Veterans.

Leaders in LGBT Healthcare

Overton Brooks VA Medical Center (OBVAMC) started the development of a LGBT program in March 2017.  The medical center has a LGBT program committee that is comprised of medical center staff, community partners, and Veterans.  The program is focused on evaluating existing inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT Veterans, visitors, and employees.  The medical center's LGBT Facebook will provide an open forum to share information and resources within the medical center and surrounding communities. 

Veterans experience an elevated risk for health disparities compared to civilians, and the risk increases for Veterans with marginalized identities. Despite recent systemic efforts to increase inclusive health care practices, sexual and gender minority (SGM) Veterans experience high rates of physical and mental health disparities due to a long standing history of discrimination and oppression within military and civilian settings. The SGM Veterans represent communities with both unique and shared experiences of health disparities. Overton Brooks VAMC is committed to serving our LGBT Veterans and promoting their health and wellness in an affirming and supportive environment.

Overton Brooks VA Medical Center LGBT Contact Information

LGBT Committee Chairperson, Kendra Geiggar, MSA, BSN, RN 
1800 Buckner Square, Suite 200
318-990-4013  
LGBT support groups held every Tuesday from 12p-1p in the 2nd floor annex conference room.

Secure Message your health care team for LGBT specific needs at the My Healthy Vet portal.

Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) Current Program Activities

• We oversee a formal LGBT Point of Contact Program with identified LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators (LGBT VCCs) at each facility. We provide training and support to LGBT VCCs who, in turn, promote understanding of VA policies and best practices for serving LGBT Veterans at their facilities.
• Ongoing review of VHA policies assuring inclusive language relevant for LGBT Veteran care, including non-discrimination policies, hospital visitation, caregiver education and the definition of family at VHA. See our policy page for additional information.  VA LGBT Policies link.
• In partnership with the Office of Academic Affairs and Mental Health Services, VHA offer Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship Training Positions with an Emphasis on Inter-professional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Health Care for Veterans at several facilities.  See our LGBT training page for additional information. LGBT Veteran Training link.
• We provide ongoing educational programs for VHA staff about best practices in LGBT healthcare. See our LGBT Training page for additional information. LGBT Veteran Training link.
• We are working to create a more welcoming environment at VHA facilities for LGBT Veterans. See our Outreach page for additional information.  VA LGBT Outreach link.
• We disseminate resources to the field to help make all facilities more welcoming to LGBT Veterans. For a list of facilities with LGBT Program websites, see our VA Facilities - LGBT Programs websites page for additional information. VA Facilities - LGBT Programs Websites link.

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: The Overton Brooks VAMC allows for a same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay.  Same-sex partners are recognized as the Veteran's family, even if the parties are not legally married.
Advanced Directives: Veterans 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: The Overton Brooks VAMC 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 be updated as appropriate. There are established procedures for changing your name and gender, available from the Overton Brooks VAMC Privacy Officer at

Concerns and/or Complaints: If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate care at the Overton Brooks VAMC, 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 Advocates.

LGBT Veteran Resources*
• VA National Directive Provision Of Health Care For Veterans Who Identify as Lesbian, Gay, Or Bisexual
• American Veterans for Equal Rights
• Outserve / Service Members Legal Defense Network
National Resources for Transgender Veterans*
• VA National Directive Providing Health Care For Transgender and Intersex Veterans
• National Center for Transgender Equality

LGBT Health Resources*
• CDC LGBT Health Page
• American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts for Gay & Bisexual Men
• American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts for Lesbian & Bisexual Women
• 10 Things Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals and Transgender Persons Should discuss with Their Healthcare Provider

VA Partners*
• Office of Health Equity - http://www.va.gov/healthequity/
• Office of Diversity and Inclusion Special Emphasis Program for LGBT VA Employees - http://www.diversity.va.gov/programs/lgbt.aspx
• Office of Academic Affiliations - http://www.va.gov/oaa/

Community Partners*
• All Souls Unitarian Church: 9449 Ellerbe Road Shreveport, LA 71106 (318) 868-3313
• Barksdale Air Force Base: 243 Curtiss Road #100 Barksdale AFB, LA 71110 (318) 456-6124
• Centenary College Safe Zone Allies: 2911 Centenary Boulevard Shreveport, LA 71104 (318) 869-5011
• Christ Church of Hope: 111 Freestate Boulevard Shreveport, LA 71107 (318) 865-6664
• Louisiana Trans Advocates: shreveport@latransadvocates.org
• NOW Shreveport-Bossier: shreveportbossiernow@gmail.com
• Parents, Families, and Friends or Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Shreveport: sherrykirkus@gmail.com (318) 638-8609
• People Acting for Change and Equality (PACE): pacelouisiana.org
• Project Celebration: 1545 Line Avenue Suite 170 Shreveport, LA 71101 (318) 221-8003
• Public Health Office: 1035 Creswell Avenue Shreveport, LA 71101 (318) 676-5222
• Spectrum at LSU: spectrum@lsu.edu
• The Alliance - Louisiana State University Shreveport: Paul Jackson, jacksonp88@lsus.edu (318) 393-1088; Connor Collette, collettec65@lsus.edu (318) 518-4318; Mary Lois White, mary.white@lsus.edu (318) 797-5103
• The Philadelphia Center: 2020 Centenary Boulevard Shreveport, LA 71104 (318) 222-6633

LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Program

As of March 2016, each VA facility has a local LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) who is appointed by their facility leadership. The VCC is responsible for promoting best practices for serving LGBT Veterans and connecting LGBT Veterans to services.

Health Information

To learn important information about the unique health risks of LGBT Veterans, download these relevant fact sheets. Here you can also find information about relevant services offered by VA.


Gay and Bisexual
Men
Health Care Fact Sheet

Gay and Bisexual Men Health Care Fact Sheet

Lesbian and Bisexual
Women
Health Care Fact Sheet

Lesbian and Bisexual Women Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender
Women
Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender Women Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender
Men
Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender Men Health Care Fact Sheet

Contact

Kendra Geiggar
LGBT Coordinator (OBVAMC)
Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
318-990-4013
kendra.geiggar@va.gov

Resources

LGBT Updates