Atlanta LGBT - Atlanta VA Health Care System
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Atlanta VA Health Care System

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Atlanta LGBT

Atlanta VA HealthCare System LGBT program goals are to provide:

  1. A safe, welcoming, and respectful environment at Atlanta VAHCS.
  2. Culturally-sensitive and effective patient-centered care delivered by staff with up to date training in LGBT specialized services.
  3. Polices and Services that are non- discriminatory and inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

 

LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator Program

 

The LGBT VCCs serve as point people for LGBT Veteran-related health care issues at the Atlanta VAHCS. The VCC is responsible for not only promoting best practices for serving LGBT Veterans but also assisting and connecting LGBT Veterans to services. The LGBT VCCs also provide trainings and offer consultation to facilitate staff members’ LGBT-related clinical and cultural competency.  For information regarding LGBT-specific clinical services, VA policies regarding LGBT care, and Transgender Specific Services contact: LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators via phone or secure messaging

  • Nicole VanSant LCSW (404)321-6111 ext 203715
  • Deauna Shauri-Webb, Psy.D 404-321-6111 ext 202982. 
  • The LGBT VCCs can also be reached through MyHealtheVet Secure Messaging at "LGBT”


Affirmative LGBT Veteran Services


  1. You Are Not Alone
    America is home to an estimated one million LGBT service members and Veterans, many of whom have served the US military with honor and distinction. All Veterans are welcome at Atlanta VAHCS.
  2. Affirmative LGBT Veteran Services
    The Atlanta VAHCS is committed to providing inclusive LGBT Care.
  • If you would like to be referred to a provider with additional training and/or expertise in LGBT care within the Atlanta VA Healthcare System please contact the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators via phone or secure messaging.
    • Nicole VanSant LCSW (404)321-6111 ext 203715
    • Deauna Shauri-Webb, Psy.D 404-321-6111 ext 202982. 
    • MyHealtheVet Secure Messaging at "LGBT”

 

Current LGBT services include but are not limited to:

  • LGBT Veteran Support Group. Meet other LGBT Veterans and enjoy a supportive environment to give and receive support from peers. For more information, please call group facilitator C. Nicole VanSant, LCSW, (404) 321-6111 ext 203715
  • LGBT mental health and substance abuse care, sexual health care including HIV/STD/STI testing and counseling, the provision of PREP, HIV care and services, physical health care, and more.

Transgender Affirmative Services

Atlanta VAHCS acknowledges the unique health considerations for gender diverse Veterans. We are dedicated to providing transgender affirmative care.

Current services offered include: gender affirming prosthetics, support groups, hormone replacement therapy and monitoring, Transgender Affirming mental health and physical health care (including gynecological care, prostate care, and screenings), as well as preoperative and postoperative care, gender neutral bathrooms in the facility, mental health care, evaluations for readiness, and active ways to get involved. Although the VA is not authorized to offer or pay for gender affirming surgery, the VA is often able to assist with many of the requirements leading up to and post-surgery.

We have a team of providers who have completed the VA Transgender SCAN ECHO training and make up the local Atlanta VA Transgender SCAN Echo Team. In addition to gaining assistance from the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators, Transgender Veterans can have access to assistance to accessing care from our Transgender SCAN Echo team.

Current Team Members:

Vin Tangpricha MD 404-321-6111 x 121053

  1. Nicole VanSant LCSW (404)321-6111 x 203715

Deauna Shauri-Webb, Psy.D 404-321-6111 x202982

Evelyn Lemoine PHD 404-321-6111 x 206027

 

LGBT Veteran Online Training, available on-demand outside the VA

We provide ongoing educational programs for VHA staff about best practices in LGBT healthcare. Many of these trainings are on our internal VA websites but three trainings in our “Do, Ask, Do Tell” series and three modules on Transgender health are available on-demand outside the VA:

Internal Training Programs

  • Training interdisciplinary VA clinical teams in transgender Veteran care via Specialty Care Access Network - Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (SCAN-ECHO).

Provision of consultation on transgender Veteran care to VA healthcare providers via regional E-Consultation teams.

 

Relevant Policies and Services

Non-discrimination: Our non-discrimination policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, actual or perceived (click here to read policy). 

Visitation: Atlanta VAHCS allows for a same-sex partner, domestic partner, family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay. Same-sex and domestic partners are recognized as the patient’s family, even if the parties are not legally married. Our definition of "family" of our Veterans mirrors the Human Rights Campaign's Healthcare Equality Index: "Family" refers to any person(s) who plays a significant role in an individual's life. This may include individual(s) not legally related to the individual. Family members include spouses, domestic partners, different-sex and same-sex significant others. You determine who you consider to be family. https://www.va.gov/health/rights/familyrights.asp

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 or domestic 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: Atlanta VAHCS maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and gender identity, as it does with all other private health information. We encourage you to inform your healthcare provider of your sexual orientation and gender identity so appropriate care can be provided. You have the right to not inform them or to have it not documented if it is not relevant to care. The computerized medical record is undergoing updates to provide an opportunity to specify information about birth sex and gender identity. 

Changing Your Name and/or Gender in Your Medical Record: The name in your 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 marker with the facility Privacy Officer. LGBT VCC’s can assist you with this process. Please contact the LGBT VCC or your local Privacy officer for assistance.


Concerns and/or Complaints

If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate affirmative care, we encourage you to make your concerns known to our facility Patient Advocates and/or LGBT VCCs.

Patient Advocates: 404-321-6111 Extensions: 203051/202264 Hours of Operation Monday- Friday 8am – 4:30pm

Atlanta VA Medical Center’s Quality Management Office at (404) 321-6111, extension 206243. If the issue has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you may file a complaint by contacting the:

Office of the Inspector General at (800) 488-8244 or

VA Inspector General Hotline (53E) P. O. Box 50410 Washington, DC 20091

The Joint Commission: Patient safety concerns can also be reported to The Joint Commission:  www.jointcommission.org, using the "Report a Patient Safety Event" link in the "Action Center" on the home page of the website

By fax to 630-792-5636 By mail to Office of Quality and Patient Safety, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

 

Employment Opportunities
It is the policy of Atlanta VAHCS to provide equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or status as a parent and to maintain a work environment that is free of any form of unlawful discrimination, including all forms of workplace harassment. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, please contact your local EEO official for assistance. Tiffany Marshall EEO Manager 404-321-6111 x 205990

https://www.diversity.va.gov/policy/statement.aspx

Resources for LGBT Employees:

LGBT VA staff and allies are invited to participate in the LGBT Staff and Allies Special Emphasis Program (LGBT SEP) of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. The goals of this group are: Raise awareness about LGBT culture and staff at Atlanta VAHCS; Provide support and social opportunities for LGBT staff; Provide outreach to promote enrollment at Atlanta VAHCS among LGBT Veterans and employment among LGBT staff; To work with LGBT VCC’s to train staff about LGBT Veteran healthcare, polices and advocacy; Track trends related to experiences of discrimination of LGBT staff and Veterans, and work to be a HEI designated Health Care System. For more information, contact LGBT Employee Program Manager C.Nicole VanSant LCSW 404-321-6111 ext 203715, or Co-Manager Kevin Thraikill, 404-321-6111 ext 205521

 

LGBT Employee Recruitment Efforts:

The LGBT Special Emphasis Program is actively involved in recruitment of LGBT employees to Atlanta VAHCS through outreach at LGBT employment fairs in the community and pride festivals. For more information on policy and resources for LGBT employees, please visit: http://www.diversity.va.gov/programs/lgbt.aspx

Please explore our career opportunities at www.usajobs.gov