Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Veterans
All Veterans are welcome here.
The Coatesville VA Medical Center is committed to providing top quality care to all Veterans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Veterans.
An estimated one million Veterans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (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.
Here at the Coatesville VA Medical Center, we deliver culturally competent, patient-centered care to all who come to Coatesville or our community based outpatient clinics (CBOCs). The Coatesville VA Medical Center embraces the national policies that guarantee access for LGBT Veterans. These policies (and more) are available to download or view through the Resources section below. We encourage LGBT Veterans and families to be aware of these rights as you seek care.
If you feel you are not being provided compassionate care at the Coatesville VA Medical Center, we encourage you to make your concerns known to your Provider and/or our Patient Experience Advocate, Dawn Bullen at 610-384-7711, ext. 2103.
LGBT Veterans Group
The LGBT Veterans Group is a place for any Veteran with concerns or questions about their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is a safe place to discuss personal issues, how the VA is treating you, and LGBT-related issues with other identified veterans. Meetings are held every Monday from 1:00 to 2:00pm, in Building 57, room 223. You do not need a referral from VA staff to come to the group. All LGBT Veterans are welcome! Please contact group facilitator, Dr. Katäri Brown, for any questions at 610-384-7711, ext. 6328.
LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator
Veterans may contact the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator, Brynn White for questions or concerns related to care. The LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator position was created as an interface between LGBT Veterans and the medical center to ensure vital customer service for our LGBT Veterans.
Brynn M. White, MDIV, BCC
Board Certified Staff Chaplain
Coatesville Veteran Affairs Medical Center
1400 Blackhorse Hill Road
Coatesville, PA 19320
Phone: (610) 384-7711, ext. 3482
LGBT Special Emphasis Committee
The LGBT Special Emphasis Committee is responsible for identifying barriers to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of LGBT employees and for making recommendations to the leadership at the Coatesville VA Medical Center on how to eliminate these barriers and promote equal employment opportunities for all employees. The Committee strives to enhance awareness and educate employees about various workplace issues affecting LGBT employees.
The committee seeks to significantly impact the composition and cultural health of the medical center's workforce. The LGBT Special Emphasis Committee routinely makes recommendations to the leadership of the Coatesville VA Medical Center on how to provide increased access and opportunities to serve our LGBT Veterans.
The committee hosts an annual educational "lunch and learn" for staff and Veterans, participates in the local Veterans' Day parade and the Philadelphia PRIDE parade, and hosts an annual ice cream social.
People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are members of every community. They are diverse, come from all walks of life, and include people of all races and ethnicities, all ages, all socioeconomic statuses, and from all parts of the United States. The perspectives and needs of LGBT people should be routinely considered in public health efforts to improve the overall health of every person and eliminate health disparities.
In addition to considering the needs of LGBT people in programs designed to improve the health of entire communities, there is also a need for culturally competent medical care and prevention services that are specific to this population. Social inequality is often associated with poorer health status, and sexual orientation has been associated with multiple health threats. Members of the LGBT community are at increased risk for a number of health threats when compared to their heterosexual peers. Differences in sexual behavior account for some of these disparities, but others are associated with social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination that LGBT populations experience. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a wealth of information concerning health issues and inequities affecting LGBT communities.
Documentation in Medical Records
Information about sexual orientation and sexual activity is confidential within your health care team, just like your other health information. We encourage all Veterans to inform their health care team of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual activity so we can provide the most appropriate care. This includes confidential testing for sexual transmitted infections, mental health care, and appropriate screenings. Finally, if you do not want your confidential medical record to reflect information related to sexual orientation or gender identity, it is your right. Please inform your healthcare provider of this wish.
Your name in your medical record reflects 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 ask your healthcare provider for a copy.
Safe Zone Training
The CVAMC LGBT Committee offers Safe Zone training to all employees. Across many organizations, Safe Zone training has been used to create a safer, more welcoming, and inclusive environment for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community. Safe Zone trainings are opportunities to learn about LGBTQ+ identities, gender and sexuality, and unlearn prejudice.
The following CVAMC employees are currently Safe Zone trained and display Safe Zone stickers to communicate to others the commitment we're making to creating a LGBTQ-inclusive environment. They are available to contact with questions and for support and referrals, if needed:
- Laura Fahringer
- Meredith Kenny
- Dana Mervos
- Virginia Campbell
- Melissa Shannonhouse
- Brynn White
- Holly Ruckdeschel
- Kathi Rendall
- Jennifer Lilly
- Carmella Tress
- Kelly Tuturice
- Rena Davis
- Heather Basehore
- Melissa Finney
- Brigid Neary
- Rhonda Sanford
- Yuliya Lesyuk
Professional Organization Position Statements on Sexuality/Gender Identity
- American Psychological Association – Statements on LGBT Concerns
- American Psychiatric Association – LGBT-Sexual Orientation
- American Medical Association – Policies on LGBT Issues
- VA National Policy on Transgender Care
- Dept of Veterans Affairs Office of Diversity and Inclusion LGBT Program
- Dept of Veterans Affairs Patient Care Services
- Dept of Veterans Affairs LGB Benefits
- 10 Things Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons Should Discuss With Their Healthcare Provider
- American Veterans for Equal Rights
- OUTServe/Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
- Knights Out (LGBT West Point Alumni)
- USNA OUT (UC Naval Academy Alumni)
- The American Military Partner Association
- Service Women's Action Network
- The Gay Military Signal
- CDC LGBT Health Page
- American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts for Gay and Bisexual Men
- American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts for Lesbian and Bisexual Women
- National Association for Mental Health LGBTQ Resources
Building 7, Room 217
Support Group: Bldg 57, Rm 223
- 610-384-7711 Ext. 3482
Hours of Operation
Monday thru Friday
8:00am to 4:30pm