Improving healthcare for LGBTQIA+ Community

June is national LGBTQIA+ pride month. The meaning of Pride month is just as varied and multifaceted as the individuals that make up this unique and diverse community. Pride month is a time to reflect on what it means to live in one's most genuine and authentic truth and to express that truth in a way that is unabashed. Pride is also a time to reflect on the progress that the LGBTQIA+ community has made when it comes to rights and civil liberties while also highlighting further opportunities to close gaps in equity. During pride month the community comes together in the form of parades and celebrations to openly show support for each other and for those that are not yet comfortable living in their truth so that they feel less isolated.

The intersections of the queer community and healthcare highlight a history of disparity based on gender expression and sexual orientation that has been rooted in implicit bias, institutional barriers, and a lack of training in regard to specific community needs. This disparity manifests as decreased access to healthcare, increased prevalence of preventable medical conditions, and increased morbidity and mortality related to mental health when compared to the general population. This disparity becomes even more profound when compounded with belonging to other traditionally underserved communities. We as a society have made great strides in improving these conditions but there is still much work to be done.

Opportunities for improvement include but aren't limited to:

- Inclusive sexual health education
- Increased funding to public health resources
- Intentional health screening for queer patients that highlights disease prevention and mental health while maintaining a nonjudgmental atmosphere
- Improved employer benefits for same-sex partners
- Healthcare benefits that include access to gender-affirming care
- Legislation that makes discrimination based on gender expression and sexual orientation illegal on a federal level
- Inclusive and intentional education for healthcare providers about the history of disparity and the specific health needs of the LGBTQIA+ community
- Active recruitment of healthcare providers from the LGBTQIA+ community to help identify and bridge gaps in care that can lead to disparity

As this Pride month begins, now is the time to engage in conversations with our colleagues, teams, departments, and employers about what policies are in place to protect and serve members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are seeking care as well as those who are providing care. Together we can help to make our places of healing to be open and equitable to everyone under the rainbow. 
Share this post:

Comments on "Improving healthcare for LGBTQIA+ Community"

Comments 0-0 of 0

Please login to comment