VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System
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.
VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System 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.With the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010* and federal agencies from the Pentagon to VA observing Gay Pride Month, opportunities abound for new developments in LGBTQ Veteran health care. We hope you choose VA NWIHCS and join our growing team of Veterans and staff to create an LGBTQ Veteran community and health care system in this exciting time of social advancement.
- We value a respectful health care environment
- Non-discrimination policies are in place and we work to ensure a welcoming environment
- You have the right NOT to be “outed” as LGBTQ in your medical record by any provider
- We know that gender expression, identity, and sexuality can be personal issues, especially for our Veterans
- You have the right to decide what works best and communicate this with your providers
- We encourage LGBT Veterans and families to be aware of these rights as you seek care in the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System
Veteran Care Coordinator
Under the Veteran Health Administration’s National LGBTQ Program, each VA Health Care System is required to have an LGBTQ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) available to assist LGBTQ Veterans navigate the VA health care system, offer community resources, and facilitate LGBTQ Veteran programs. The LGBTQ VCC also serves as point of contact, source of information, advocate, and general problem-solver for LGBTQ Veteran-related health care issues.
- VA NWIHCS employee and Veteran Dawn Brdicko, is the LGBTQ Veteran Care Coordinator. She can be contacted at 402-995-3166.
- LGBTQ Providers
Vet-to-Vet Transgender Support Group
This Veteran-led support group meets monthly at the Omaha VA Medical Center to share Group members share their struggles, triumphs, and offer support to one another. Please contact Dawn, the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator, at 402995-3166 if you are interested in joining.
VA LGBTQ staff and heterosexual allies are invited to participate in the LGBTQ Staff and Allies Special Emphasis Program through the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. The goals of this group are:
- To train VA NWIHCS staff about LGBTQ Veteran Health Care and Policies
- To raise awareness about LGBTQ Veterans and staff at VA NWIHCS
- To provide support and social opportunities for LGBTQ staff, and
- To increase enrollment at VA NWIHCS among LGBTQ Veterans and employment among LGBTQ staff.
For LGBTQ employee-related concerns or questions, please contact the LGBTQ Special Emphasis Program Manager Rachal Pender at 402-689-7597.
For more information on the VA NWIHCS special emphasis programs, contact EEO program manager Lori Johnson at 402-995-3109 or EEO specialist Colleen Vonderhaar at 402-995-5714.
If you feel you have been discriminated against due to our sexual orientation or gender identity, or for any reason, please contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office at 402-995-3109.
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.