VA takes pride in the diversity of the  Veteran community. Today, about 27% of Veterans are members of a racial or ethnic minority group. By 2045 this number is predicted to rise to 39%.

Women are the most diverse group of Veterans – about 43% of women who used VA health care services in 2020 belonged to a racial or ethnic minority group.

This diversity is a positive influence that Veterans bring with them into their community, their workplaces, and into our VA facilities.

Our goal at VA is to provide an inclusive, welcoming environment for all Veterans. At the heart of serving a diverse group of Veterans is a diverse VA workforce.

Our providers and staff are racially and ethnically diverse. They’re also trained in delivering culturally competent care to Veterans of different backgrounds.

Equity: At VA, health care is not one-size-fits-all

At VA, every Veteran receives care that matters to them and their whole health. VA providers and staff get to know each Veteran personally to better provide care tailored to the patient’s health and wellness goals.

All Veterans are different, and that’s why health care at VA is not one-size-fits-all.

People who have experienced discrimination may have less trust in medical providers. They may be less likely to trust their health care system. That can lead to poor health and a greater risk for certain health issues. Those issues include diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

It is important to build greater trust with all Veterans, especially individuals from marginalized groups, such as racial, ethnic, gender and sexual minorities. The VA Office of Health Equity trains VA providers to better understand and address these barriers and ensure all Veterans receive equitable care tailored to their unique needs.

These trainings include modules on serving the health care needs of a diverse population, understanding unconscious bias and other cultural competence topics.

VA’s staff is trained in delivering culturally competent care to Veterans of different backgrounds.

Inclusion: VA welcomes and is proud to serve all Veterans

VA does not accept discrimination against or harassment of any Veteran at any level or at any facility within VA. We promote an inclusive environment for all Veterans. VA hires people from all backgrounds, including fellow Veterans that patients can relate to given shared experiences.

We’re integrating best practices of diversity, equity and inclusion into all that we do to expand access to our world-class health care services and improving policies and procedures to reflect the diversity of those we serve.

VA has pledged that harassment and gender inequity have no place in VA. We are continuing to strengthen our efforts toward the goal of a safe and respectful workplace and health care environment.

To foster an inclusive environment, VA provides Minority Veterans Programs Coordinators, LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators and Women Veteran Program Managers.

VA staff in these roles:

  • Help coordinate care and advocate on behalf of Veterans
  • Promote use of the many benefits, programs and services available to minority Veterans
  • Educate VA staff and providers about the unique needs of minority Veterans

These program managers and coordinators also conduct outreach to minority Veterans in their local area to let them know that VA is here for them and stands ready to provide them the best care anywhere – the care they’ve earned and deserve.

Learn more about VA’s mission of creating a respectful and inclusive environment for all Veterans.

Related blog: VA diversity & inclusion task force: How it affects applicants and employees

By Dr. Patricia Hayes is chief officer for VA Women’s Health

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Published on Jul. 22, 2021

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  1. Kristopher Steele July 28, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Diversity and equity is nothing but some racist bs, God forbid we try equality and quit being victims instead. I am ashamed to have served with such crying little btches. Js

  2. Piper Rene Wisemen July 26, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    When is the VA going to do something for the TRANS vets ? (68-72 USAF)
    So you’ll give me HRT ( which I get from a private dr and pay for) but what about my surgery?
    Where all this TALK you keep talking but not doing anything EXCEPT talking

    • Kristopher Steele July 28, 2021 at 11:21 pm

      They are doing something, it’s called mental health treatment

  3. Michael A Hayes July 23, 2021 at 12:58 pm

    As a black veteran who has been treated like a criminal trying to get something for free I don’t see any signs of diversity training going on, thankfully with the community care program I get treated with more dignity than at the va.

  4. Carolyn Fields-Wilkins July 22, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Anytime a program manager gets sensitive to issues Veterans share and state I resent your tone or telling me, I didn’t do that to you. I think more diversity and cultural diverse training is needed.

    Or the director of a department do not provide the Veterans what is needed but ask if you live in that big house and deny a service connection Vietnam disabled veteran the ramps to enter and exit his home when that same Veteran was given drugs that had Box Warnings that states “DO NOT GIVE TO ELDERLY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA” which causes that very veteran to be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life, seems a lot more is lacking. But nothing is ever done where is the diverse understanding. This same department head denied this same veteran a new bed and when his wife had to prop the veteran up with pillows and comforters who also had swallowing problems. I say diverse training is needed. But maybe you just had to be elderly and a black Vietnam Veteran and the very people working at the VA felt you didn’t need the bed, nor the ramps. Oh by the way the doctors were told not to give this veteran antiphycotic drugs. But to chemically restraint an elderly black man who is going to care. Right?

    Yes, many recipts for so many issues like this.

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