Cincinnati 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.
Cincinnati 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.
LGBT Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in accessing quality health care. VA is developing policies, provider-education programs, and services to ensure high quality, patient-centered care for LGBT Veterans.
The Cincinnati VA is accredited by the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization and accredited by HEI.
Veteran’s Support Groups
Transgender Support Group
Time: 4th Monday of each month, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
The Transgender Veterans Support Group offers a safe and confidential place for Transgender Veterans to share thoughts and feelings about their experiences, to explore creative ways to cope with challenges they encounter, to learn from one another and to support and be supported by one another. Group sessions include a psychoeducational component with topics relevant to Transgender Veterans.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Bonnie at 513-497-4667 and/or Cindy at 513-748-3924 for a referral.
HIV & Gay Men's Support Group
Time: 1st and 3rd Wed of the month, 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm
The HIV & Gay Men's is to provide support and information for those gay men dealing with HIV positive status. It requires a screening prior to joining the group. Please contact either co-leader to schedule an appointment for the screening process.
This bi-monthly group is designed to offer gay male vets a safe and supportive environment in which to process their HIV positive status and the impact that it has in all facets of their lives. Topics discussed can include health care issues, relationships, trauma, stress management, and substance abuse. Veterans can provide and receive support from other members in an atmosphere of understanding and respect. Members report finding the group especially helpful in the areas of self-care and empathic support.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Paul Droessler, MD 513.475.6368 and Connie Boehner, Ph.D. 513.861.3100 ext. 5412 for a referral.
Gay Men’s Support Group
Time: Weekly on Friday, 11:00 am to 11:45 am
This group is to provide support and information on a variety of topics important to gay men. It requires a screening prior to joining the group. Please contact Dr. Boehner to schedule an appointment for the screening process.
This weekly group is designed to offer gay male vets a safe and supportive environment in which to explore anything that concerns them. Topics discussed can include health care issues, relationships, trauma, stress management, and substance abuse. Veterans can provide and receive support from other members in an atmosphere of shared perspective. Members report finding the group especially helpful in the areas of self-care and healthy boundary keeping.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Connie Boehner directly at 513-861-3100, x 5412
LGBTQ Task Force
The Cincinnati VAMC LGBTQ Task Force purpose is to provide peer support for clinicians working with this population, and to provide education and awareness to staff regarding LGBTQ issues. The Task Force sponsors a fair, typically held in June to raise awareness, and is available to consult with hospital staff as needed. The task force meets monthly.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact the LGBT Special Emphasis Program Manager directly at 513-475-6880.
Our Veteran Non-Discrimination Policy has specific language that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (actual and perceived).
Veterans may designate any person as a decision-maker for care should you become unable to make these decisions yourself. This includes designating a same-sex partner as a surrogate decision maker. Advanced Directive agents are chosen by the Veteran and do not need to be biologically related. Please inform staff if you desire to create an Advance Directive.
Documentation in Medical Records
The Cincinnati VA Medical Center maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation and sexual behavior, as it does with all other private health information. We encourage you to inform your Healthcare provider of your sexual orientation/gender identity so appropriate care can be provided. Please see the Healthcare information sheets provided below for your specific healthcare needs
Changing Your Name and/or Sex in Your Medical Record
Your name in the medical record will reflect your legal name. The sex in your medical record should reflect your self-identified gender. You have the right to request that name and sex are updated as appropriate. There are established procedures for changing your name and sex with the VA Privacy Officer. If you would like a copy of the fact sheet on how to change your name and/or sex in CPRS, please let your health care provider know so they can obtain a copy for you.
Concerns and/or Complaints
If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate care at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, we encourage you to make your concerns known to your Provider and/or a Patient Advocate.
Helpful Links for LGBT Veterans
LGBT Veteran Resources*
National Resources for Transgender Veterans*
- Changing your name and gender in Medical Records Kits
- VA National Policy on Transgender Care
- International Foundation for Gender Education
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Traveler Information for Transgender Travelers from the TSA
- 10 Things Transgender Persons Should discuss with Their Healthcare Care Provider
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
* All Links above will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked Websites. All links will open in a new window
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.
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.