The Edward Hines, Jr. VA will be hosting a series of virtual and in-person PRIDE events in June to mark ten years of its LGBT/A (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Allies) Special Emphasis Program (SEP).

Over the past ten years, Hines has celebrated the diversity of our staff and Veterans in many ways, including participating in local pride parades – like the photo above, from the 2019 parade in Chicago. A joint effort between the SEP and the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator and committee, Hines engages both staff and Veterans in their Pride programs.

This year, the events will take place to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. Throughout June, rainbow and transgender flags will be placed at the main hospital entrance. Each week, activities will be sent to staff via email to allow them to explore aspects of LGBT culture, educate themselves on LGBT patient care, and to provide resources for their Veterans. The Patriot Café will create rainbow-themed desserts for sale, and staff will be encouraged to decorate their doors and bulletin boards to display their pride.

Specific, one-time events will also be held. A screening and discussion of the short film “Not Another Second” will be held in socially distanced in-person and virtual formats. A “lunch and learn” program for staff continuing education will be offered, titled “Practices for Evolving as LGBT Allyship.” This is part of an ongoing series from the local EVOLVE: Engaging Voices of LGBT Veterans Every day training program. Six sessions per year of the 4-hour training are held, as well as six one-hour lunch and learns to supplement the initial course.

During monthly employee and Veteran virtual town halls, the LGBT program will inform viewers on services available to LGBT Veterans and staff. This information will also be featured in the hospital director’s weekly “Hines Happenings” videos for staff. To cap the month’s events, a celebration marking 10 years of the LGBT/A Special Emphasis Program and LGBT programs at Hines will be held for all. The event will feature speakers as well as a video created with staff and Veterans sharing their experiences about the growth of Hines as an LGBT inclusive health care site. After the event, the video will also be featured on social media and other platforms.

Lorry Luscri is a Hines VA Hospital LGBT Veteran care coordinator and VISN 12 lead.

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Published on May. 28, 2021

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  1. Don Wolfe June 5, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    I agree with the above. Treat everyone the same. Don’t give them or anyone else special treatment or honors except for what a veteran did to defend our nation. We don’t need to know who is gay and who isn’t. If that is an issue than that person should not be in the military. The defense of our nation is the only reason for our military. It should never should be used to push individual rights. No one has special rights in the military. Knock off all this BS!

  2. Lennard Lawrence of Arabia June 3, 2021 at 6:22 am

    Accept trash like this to be the norm for at least the next 3 &1/2 years. Instead of focusing on real issues such as homelessness, addiction, PTSD, suicide they codger up articles like this and blow funding, which they could use for real issues just to say they are doing something, for some people, but in reality, they’re nothing for no one. I know a blind Purple Heart nam vet who is now homeless and has been trying to get help for years, who just got awarded 30%, while a Navy vet who pushed papers, and his only deployment ever was on an aircraft carrier for 5 months was awarded 70%. I myself have had two video appointments in which the doctor never joined the chat and I was told my appointments were made as a mistake and rescheduled only to have my doctor not join the video chat once again. The VA isn’t really there to help veterans. The VA exists only to tell the public that they’re trying to help. At least when there’s not communist running the country they give us a 1.5% or so COLA raise every year.

  3. Lennard Lawrence of Arabia June 3, 2021 at 6:21 am

    And of course, you cannot comment without it being censored. So much for free speech.

  4. Jim Gude May 28, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    I’m sorry but this issue should not be in the forefront of VA administration.

    • Candice West June 2, 2021 at 9:20 am

      At the VA, we are proud to serve ALL who served. For more information about the VA’s efforts in this area, please visit:

      • Aebe mac Gill June 2, 2021 at 9:35 pm

        Why do you support mental illness, and place it as the fore as if it were special?
        Why not just treat them as you should all veterans?

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