Veterans Affairs expands PRIDE program to Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is expanding its PRIDE In All Who Served program to an additional 10 locations across the country, including Richmond, Va.

According to a release, PRIDE is a 10-week health education program, focused on reducing health care disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer veterans. It was established in 2016 to care for LGBTQ+ individuals, both within the Veterans Affairs health system and in the community.

“LGBTQ+ veterans are at an increased risk for health care disparities, especially suicide, due in part to discrimination and difficulty accessing health care,” VA Clinical Psychologist and PRIDE Program Creator Dr. Tiffany Lange said. “PRIDE focuses on improving overall wellness, increasing social connectedness and empowering LGBTQ+ veterans to engage in VHA [Veterans Health Administration] services relevant to their personal health care needs.”

Program courses are now available at 34 locations, including Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. Also in Virginia, the PRIDE program has been introduced at the Salem VA Medical Center.

According to a release, the demand for the program continues to grow, and the VA has set the goal of implementing it in 50 VA Medical Centers by fiscal year 2023.

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