CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Several organizations fighting for the LGBTQIA+ community are calling out the University of Virginia Health System for what they say are discriminatory practices.  

In an open letter to the Health System and UVA President Jim Ryan, the Charlottesville Pride Community Network (Cville Pride) says some LGBTQIA+ patients report uncomfortable and traumatic interactions with providers and staff.

The letter says Cville Pride has heard stories describing callous and ill-prepared medical personnel, as well as outright refusals of healthcare and blatant disrespect. The group notes that many great strides have been made by the university, but it is calling for more concrete action.

"UVA Health System has made some considerable progress in the last several years towards being a more inclusive environment as far as for their patients, particularly their teen trans health center is exemplary. But there is multiple work that needs to be done, and we keep hearing from people that experience bias in using UVA Health System," Cville Pride VP Buck Smith said.

The network wants the Health System to create a patient advocate and navigator role, as well as develop a mandatory training program. Smith says the group's safe space training would be of benefit to all health system employees.

“We've made over the past several years some really tremendous strides in working with LGBTQ patients. We've established both an adult transgender clinic, and also provide transgender services at our teen and young adult health center. We held our first LGBTQ Healthcare symposium a couple years ago,” said spokesperson Eric Swensen.

Swensen says UVA Health System is open to working with the organizations to continue to serve all patients.