VA Leadership in LGBT Healthcare Equality

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USVHAHE Press Releases

March 24, 2016

LGBT Leader

The Office of Health Equity (OHE) would like to extend our congratulations and thanks to the 114 VA medical centers (VAMC) who participated in the 2016 Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), and especially the 96 facilities who achieved Leader Status. The 96 facilities represent the highest number achieving Leader Status since VHA-wide HEI participation began in 2013. The purpose of the HEI is to promote an equitable and inclusive care environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families.

Leader Status is granted to those facilities who have met performance standards on four criteria:

  • Patient Non-Discrimination
  • Equal Visitation
  • Employment Non-Discrimination
  • Training in LGBT Patient-Centered Care

VA medical centers made up 20% of all 2016 HEI participants. Among participating VAMCs, 84% were designated with Leader Status. “The Department of Veterans Affairs is pleased to again partner with the Human Rights Campaign. This year we’ve seen a greater number of VA medical centers participating in the 2016 Healthcare Equality Index and even more achieving leader status,” says VA Chief Health Equity Officer Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD. “Our facilities play an important role in states like Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, and Utah where VA medical centers were the only facilities in these states to be recognized as leaders by the Human Rights Campaign."

The OHE facilitates, coordinates and supports the VAMCs voluntary participation in the HEI annually. For more information on VA 2016 HEI participation and resources for LGBT Veterans, employees and their families, please visit