Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veteran Care - VA Hudson Valley Health Care System
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Hudson Valley 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.

We Serve All Who Served poster

VA Hudson Valley 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.

LGBT Patient Centered Care

Welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Veterans!

An estimated 1 million Veterans identify as LGBT. More than 36,000 gay men and lesbians are on active duty, and likely up to 87,000 men and women in the service are gay or lesbian, including the National Guard or Reserves. LGBT Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in accessing quality healthcare. The VA Hudson Valley is committed to providing inclusive, comprehensive, patient-centered care to all Veterans, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Veterans in a safe, respectful healthcare environment. We recognize that diverse populations have distinctive needs, and are training our staff in culturally and clinically-competent care for LGBT Veterans. We are focused on providing the most respectful health care environment possible.

The VA Hudson Valley embraces the national policies that guarantee access for LGBT Veterans. These policies (and more) are available to download from this website. We encourage LGBT Veterans and families to be aware of these rights as you seek care at the VA Hudson Valley.

LBGT Equality Care Team

The mission of the LGBT Equality Care Team is to provide guidance for policy, procedural guidelines and responsibilities assisting in efforts for advancement of cultural competence, improved communications and the provision of equitable and valued patient-centered care to a diverse patient population. Particular areas of emphasis will be the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender Community patient populations within the VA Hudson Valley HCS.

The Equality Care Team hosts an annual Transgender Awareness Month event in November, an LGBT Health Awareness event in March and Pride event in June. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator Anna M. Cognetto at 914-737-4400 x3422.

The VA Hudson Valley is accredited by the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the country’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization and accredited by HEI.

Below are relevant policies and services:

VA Takes Pride in Serving LGBT Veterans Non-Discrimination

Our Patient Non-Discrimination Policy has specific language that prohibits discrimination basedon sexual orientation or gender identity (actual and perceived).

VA Hudson Valley Definition of "Family"

The VA Hudson Valley adopts the definition of "family" put forth by the HumanRights 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.

Advanced Directives

Patients may designate any person as a decision-maker for care should 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.

Let's Talk.  Sexual orientation and gender identity matter in health care. Documentation in Medical Records

The VA Hudson Valley 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.

LGBTQ Veterans Resources LGBT Health Resources* National Resources for Transgender Veterans* LGBT Health Resources*

* 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 links will open in a new window.

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.

Health Information

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.

Gay and Bisexual
Health Care Fact Sheet

Gay and Bisexual Men Health Care Fact Sheet

Lesbian and Bisexual
Health Care Fact Sheet

Lesbian and Bisexual Women Health Care Fact Sheet

Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender Women Health Care Fact Sheet

Health Care Fact Sheet

Transgender Men Health Care Fact Sheet


Anna M. Cognetto
LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator
Montrose Campus
914-737-4400 Ext. 3422

LGBT Updates