Remarkable People 2022: Keri Griffin, Orlando VA LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Program Coordinator & Special Emphasis Program Manager

Keri Griffin has worked as a substance use disorder and mental health provider in the Orlando VA Healthcare System for the last 17 years.

For the past 12 years, Keri has served the facility and their veterans in the roles of OVAHCS’s LGBTQ+ Special Emphasis Program Manager and Veteran Care Coordinator.

In these positions she has provided support and services for employees and veteran patients, as well as training and educational opportunities, outreach and the development of strong community relationships.

In October 2021, Keri, through dedication and hard work, was able to facilitate and elevate the LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Program Coordinator to a full-time position at the OVAHCS to better support the staff and veterans.

Keri has since worked tirelessly to expand the program to better serve the OVAHCS community’s LGBTQ+ veterans and employees.

In January 2021, Keri was nominated and selected as the Veteran’s Integrated Service Network 8 LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator Lead. This has allowed Keri to increase her advocacy to other facilities within VISN 8 as she supports those LGBTQ+ Care Coordinators.

Keri has also developed a monthly Inter-Disciplinary LGBTQ+ Treatment Team at the OVAHCS and has chaired the OVAHCS LGBTQ+ Special Emphasis Program, working closely with the Diversity and Inclusion Team and the Equal Employment Opportunity Office at OVAHCS.

At the beginning of 2022, Keri was voted by the other VISN LGBTQ+ Leads to be the national LGBTQ+ VCC Forum Lead. Due to her hard work with the LGBTQ+ Veteran population within VHA, Keri has received several national I CARE awards over the years for her commitment and advocacy to LGBTQ+ veteran patients and employees.

Keri has not only fostered flourishing partnerships with programs at her facility, in her VISN and nationally within the Veteran’s Health Administration, but also with the greater Orlando LGBTQ+ community through various organizations.

Keri has developed these relationships and respect through regularly participating in numerous outreach events within the community.

From 2021 to the present Keri has been an active part of assisting with the national federal employee resource group, PrideVA, where she has assisted with federal employee advocacy and advancement with employees across departments in Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.

Keri was selected to be on one of the eight national VHA workstreams in the beginning of 2022 as VHA continues to strive towards providing gender affirming surgeries in VHA within the next couple of years, along with continuing to enhance access to the other services already provided by VHA for our gender diverse veterans.

In June 2022, Keri received Federal Employee of the Year Honorable Mention for her Service to the LGBTQ+ Community and she was also honored by U.S. Rep. Darren Soto as a Distinguished Leader in Central Florida for Pride Month and had her biography read into the Congressional Record.

OVAHCS is extremely fortunate to have Keri within their ranks providing consistent advocacy and care for LGBTQ+ employees and Veterans!

To view the full list of Watermark’s Remarkable People of 2022, click here.

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