Fargo VA Health Care System
LGBT Veteran Support
The Fargo VA Health Care System is committed to providing top quality care to all Veterans including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Veterans.
We recognize diverse populations have distinctive needs and are training our staff about culturally and clinically-competent care for LGBT Veterans. We are focused on providing the most respectful health care environment possible.
We also embrace national policies that guarantee access for LGBT Veterans. These policies (and more) are available to download from this website (starting point link on the right). We encourage LGBT Veterans and families to be aware of these rights as you seek care with the Fargo VA Health Care System.
Relevant policies and services
Our Patient Non-Discrimination Policy (link on the right) has specific language that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity (actual and perceived).
The Fargo VA Health Care System Visitation Policy allows a same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of his/her stay. Same-sex partners are recognized as the patient’s family, even if the partners are not legally married.
Definition of Family
Fargo VA Health Care System adopts the definition of family used by the Human Rights Campaign's National Healthcare Equality Index. Family refers to any person(s) who plays a significant role in an individual's life. This may include individual(s) not legally related to the individual. Members of family include spouses, domestic partners, and both different-sex and same-sex significant others.
Veteran patients may designate any person as a decision-maker for care if 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 Fargo VA Health Care System 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.
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 your medical record, please let your health care provider know so he/she can obtain a copy for you.
Concerns and/or Complaints
If you feel you are not being provided compassionate care at Fargo VA Medical Center or the Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs), we encourage you to make your concerns known to your provider and/or the Patient Advocate.
Helpful Links for LGBT Veterans
LGBT Veteran Resources*
- American Veterans for Equal Rights
- Outserve / Service Members Legal Defense Network
- TransFamily Cleveland
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
- Ten Things Transgender Persons Should discuss with Their Healthcare Care Provider
LGBT Health Resources*
- CDC LGBT Health Page
- The National Lesbian Health Organization
- 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
Fargo VA HCS is honored to be rated as a "Leader in LGBT Health Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign Health Care Equality Index - a distinction awarded in 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.
* Links 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. The link will open in a new window