By Scout Reporting from 2010 National Coalition for LGBT Health Meeting
Anyone know The Joint Commission? Well, other than being in an acronym twelve-step program (their last name was JCAHO), they are the folk who accredit 95% of all hospital beds in the country. Accredit as in… if the hospital doesn’t pass their tests, I’m pretty sure it’s turned into a walmart. They also accredit community health centers too. All I know is if you work in a hospital or health center and The Joint Commission review is up, you iron your underwear.
So, did you know The Joint Commission has a big project to improve care for LGBTQ people? Today at the National Coalition for LGBT Health meeting Brette Tschurtz from The Joint Commission came to tell us all about it. They started the project by adding some LGBT leaders to an advisory group, then they followed it up with a recent LGBTQ advisory meeting where they heard earfuls about how care can get better for all of us.
But now they’re going further, developing a toolkit for hospitals and health centers to serve us all better. And in order to know what exactly needs fixing, they need stories of what’s going wrong! Now if you remember that national transgender needs assessment that was just released, 1 in 5 trans people in this country has been denied health care. (Remember Southern Comfort? That trans guy was turned down from care by 19 docs before he died out of treatment.) If you’re that 1 in 5, tell them about it. Or what about everyone, every lesbian who’s been subjected to an endless grilling on birth control, every gay man who had to deal with some suddenly frosty doctor? Or what about the youth, I don’t know about you, but as an openly gay youth in the mental health care system… well let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty at all. (but yes, yes, it got better) (much better actually). So, whatever your flavor — speak up and speak out! The group that can spank your hospital wants to know if those hospitals treat us like second class citizens. Share the news, share the stories and let’s tell them every time the health care system let’s us down!
Email stories to firstname.lastname@example.org! (No, no hyperlink, apparently that’s just like candy for spammers, so please use the old scissors and white glue to cut and paste in yr email program.)