Martinsburg VA Medical Center
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veteran Care
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA) is committed to providing quality care to all Veterans inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) Veterans. Excellent care has no boundaries.
LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities. The ‘Q’ refers to queer identities, as well as those who are questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The + sign is meant to be inclusive of sexual orientations and gender identities beyond LGBT, including pansexual, asexual, agender, gender non-conforming, gender diverse, nonbinary, gender neutral and other identities.
Martinsburg VA Medical Center seeks to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBTQ+ Veterans and their families. We are committed to making sensitive and high-quality health care accessible. Our employees are prepared to provide personalized, patient-centered care in a safe, affirming, and welcoming environment.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Program
The Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) is committed to providing quality health care to all Veterans. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Veterans' health care should be culturally competent by responding to specific medical concerns and advancing practices with research and discovery. The Department of Veterans Affairs encourages LGBT Veterans and families to be aware of their rights and VA policies.
Leaders in LGBT Healthcare
The Human Rights Campaign recognizes the Martinsburg VAMC as a "Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality." The Martinsburg VAMC has received this recognition on a yearly basis since 2013.
The honor is given to facilities that meet LGBT-inclusive benchmarks that are part of the HRC Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index, a unique survey that encourages equal care for LGBT Americans by evaluating inclusive policies and practices related to LGBT Veterans, visitors and employees.
Veterans experience an elevated risk for health disparities compared to civilians, and the risk increases for Veterans with marginalized identities. Despite recent systemic efforts to increase inclusive health care practices, sexual and gender minority (SGM) Veterans experience high rates of physical and mental health disparities due to a long standing history of discrimination and oppression within military and civilian settings. The SGM Veterans represent communities with both unique and shared experiences of health disparities. The Martinsburg VAMC is committed to serving our LGBT Veterans and promoting their health and wellness in an affirming and supportive environment.
Relevant Policies and Services
Non-discrimination: Our non-discrimination policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, actual or perceived, VHA Directive 1019.
Visitation: The Martinsburg VAMC allows for a same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay. Same-sex partners are recognized as the Veteran's family, even if the parties are not legally married.
Advanced Directives: Veterans may designate any person as a decision-maker for care should they become unable to make these decisions. This includes designating a same-sex partner as a surrogate decision-maker. Advanced Directives agents are chosen by the Veteran and do not need to be biologically related.
Documentation in Medical Records: The Martinsburg VAMC maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation and sexual behavior, as it does with all other private health information.
Changing Your Name and/or Gender in Your Medical Record: Your name in the medical record will reflect your legal name. You have the right to request that your name and gender be updated as appropriate. There are established procedures for changing your name and gender, available from the Martinsburg VAMC Privacy Officer at 304-263-0811, ext. 3024.
Concerns and/or Complaints: If you feel you are not being provided with compassionate care at the Martinsburg VAMC, we encourage you to make your concerns known. Concerns regarding a specific service, e.g., Mental Health, Primary Care, should be directed to the corresponding contact person for that Service. This information can be easily found on this website through the Services page. In addition, you are encouraged to discuss any concerns with our Veteran Experience Officers at 304-263-0811, ext. 3068, located in Bldg. 500, 6th floor.
LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Program
Every VA facility has a local LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) who can connect you with services and help you navigate specialized resources.
To learn important information about the unique health risks of LGBTQ+ Veterans, download these relevant fact sheets. Here you can also find information about relevant services offered by VA.