VA expands “PRIDE In All Who Served” program for LGBTQ+ Veterans

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VHA LGBTQ+ Health Program | Image by VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs grows its PRIDE In All Who Served (PRIDE) program to include 10 additional VA locations across the country where classes are available.

PRIDE is a 10-week health education program focused on reducing health care disparities among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Veterans.

“LGBTQ+ Veterans are at an increased risk for health care disparities, especially suicide, due in part to discrimination and difficulty accessing health care,” said VA clinical psychologist and creator of the PRIDE Program Tiffany Lange Psy.D. “PRIDE focuses on improving overall wellness, increasing social connectedness and empowering LGBTQ+ Veterans to engage in VHA services relevant to their personal health care needs.” Every VA hospital has an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator onsite to assist LGBTQ+ Veterans accessing VA services available to them.

Program courses are now available at:

• Coatesville VA Medical Center Coatesville, Pa.

• G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VAMC, Jackson, Miss.

• Greenville VA Clinic, Greenville, N.C.

• Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC, Richmond, Va.

• Manchester VAMC, Manchester, New H.H.

• Salem VAMC, Salem, Va.

• Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics, White City, Ore.

• VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Denver, Colo.

• VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, Reno, Nev.

• Veterans Integrated Service Network 17 Center of Excellence, Waco, Texas.

Participants report several positive outcomes resulting from PRIDE:

• Reduced likelihood of suicide attempt and suicidal behavior. • Reduced anxiety and symptoms of depression.

• Reduced concerns about identity acceptance and internalized negativity.

• Increased protective factors, such as community involvement, coping, and self-awareness.

Established in 2016, PRIDE is the first program developed to care for LGBTQ+ individuals, both within VA and in the community. The program is replicable and includes a manual to help guide new participating VAMCs. PRIDE was developed with support from the VHA Innovators Network and expansion is currently assisted by the Diffusion of Excellence and has been designated a “National Best Practice”.

There are currently more than 80 Veterans attending a PRIDE group at one of the new sites and more than 500 Veterans have been impacted by PRIDE since tracking began in 2018. The demand for the program continues to grow and VA has set the goal of implementing it in 50 VAMCs by fiscal year 2023.

The PRIDE Program is offered at 24 other facilities:

• Central Alabama VAMC-Montgomery, Montgomery, Ala. Central Texas. Healthcare System, Temple, Texas.

• Chalmers P. Wylie Ambulatory Care Center, Columbus, Ohio.

• Durham VAMC, Durham, N.C. Fayetteville VAMC, Fayetteville, N.C.

• George E. Wahlen VAMC, Salt Lake City, Utah.

• Hampton VAMC, Hampton, Va.

• Jack C. Montgomery VAMC, Muskogee, Okla.

• Oceanside VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), Oceanside, Calif.

• Oklahoma City VAMC, Oklahoma City, Okla.

• Ralph H. Johnson VAMC, Charleston, S.C.

• Richard L. Roudebush VAMC, Indianapolis, Ind.

• Saginaw VA Clinic, Saginaw, Mich.

• San Diego Healthcare System, La Jolla, Calif.

• Spark M. Matsunaga VAMC, Honolulu, Hawaii.

• St. Louis VAMC-Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Miss.

• Tomah VAMC, Tomah, Wis.

• Tuscaloosa VAMC, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

• VA Loma Linda Health Care System, Loma Linda-Redlands, Calif.

• VA McClellan CBOC, McClellan Park, Calif.

• VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health Care System, Harlingen, Texas.

• VA Western Colorado Health Care System, Grand Junction, Colo.

• VISN 6 Clinical Resource Hub, Charlotte, N.C.

• W.G. (Bill) Hefner Salisbury VAMC, Salisbury, N.C.

Find an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator or learn more about health care services for LGBTQ+ Veterans.

Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs | Contributed

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