VA North Texas Named as Leader in LBGT Healthcare Equality - VA North Texas Health Care System
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VA North Texas Health Care System

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VA North Texas Named as Leader in LBGT Healthcare Equality

July 17, 2013

DALLAS – VA North Texas Veterans Health Care System was recognized recently as a leader in Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) healthcare equality according to the 2013 Healthcare Equality Index. The annual survey was conducted by the Human Rights"Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the country's largest LGBT organization. HRC Health and Aging Director Shane Snowdon congratulated VA North Texas, saying “LGBT patients deeply appreciate the welcoming environment provided by a leader in LGBT healthcare equality."

"VA North Texas was determined to achieve this designation," said Director Jeff Milligan. Sensitivity to diversity training was conducted for all employees, and policies were revised to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Dallas VA Medical Center will soon be among the first VAs across the country to provide a transgender clinic. Milligan added, "All Veterans who honorably served this Nation have the same rights to VA health care." 

VA North Texas Health Care System is one of 464 healthcare facilities nationwide to be named as leaders in LGBT healthcare equality. Facilities must meet key criteria for equitable care, including non-discrimination policies for LGBT patients and employees, a guarantee of equal visitation for same-sex partners and parents, and LGBT health education for key staff members.

Laura Kiewicz, RN, is the LGBT program manager at VA North Texas. "We have a very active LGBT program, and I am proud of our efforts to be named to the Healthcare Equality Index. Our group worked hard with hospital management to insure Veterans receive the best possible care and that LGBT employees are able to work in a non-discriminatory environment," Kiewicz said. 

VA North Texas was one of two healthcare facilities in the DFW area to receive this designation and among nine healthcare facilities in Texas to be listed in the 2013 Healthcare Equality Index.

MEDIA CONTACT: ntxpublicaffairs@va.gov

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VA North Texas Health Care System serves more than 113,000 Veterans and delivers more than 1.4 million outpatient visits to Veterans in 38 North Texas counties and two counties in southern Oklahoma.