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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

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LGBTQ Program

VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System is committed to providing top quality care to all Veterans, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) Vetrerans. We recognize diverse populations have distinctive needs. VA NWIHCS offers a variety of programs to create a health care system that is responsive to the particular needs of LGBTQ patients and staff by building upon the unique strengths of LGBTQ culture.

You Are Not Alone

America is home to an estimated one million LGBTQ service members and Veterans who have served the U.S. military with honor and distinction.

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 Jessica Hilbert, BSN, RN-BC, is the LGBTQ Veteran Care Coordinator. She can be contacted at, 402-680-9046 or 402-995-3854, or for Veterans, via MyHealtheVet secure messaging.

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 Jessica, the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator, at 402-680-9046 if you are interested in joining.

Staff Resources

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:

  1. To train VA NWIHCS staff about LGBTQ Veteran Health Care and Policies
  2. To raise awareness about LGBTQ Veterans and staff at VA NWIHCS
  3. To provide support and social opportunities for LGBTQ staff, and
  4. 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 Healthcare Equality

VA NWIHCS is honored to be rated as a "Leader in LGBT Health Equity" by the Human Rights Campaign Health Care Equality Index - a distinction awarded in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Click here to visit the HEI website* to learn about the Core Four Leader Criteria on which health care systems are rated.

*Link will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of linked websites. The link will open in a new window.