This has been such a huge week for LGBT health as you probably know!
Some tremendous news that came from today, the last day of LGBT Health Awareness week, was the release of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations: “Actions to Improve the Health and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities.”
These recommendations are a summary of the efforts taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as recommendations for future action. The recommendations were developed in response to the Presidential Memorandum on Hospital Visitation, which, in addition to addressing the rights of patients to designate visitors regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, directed the Secretary to explore additional steps HHS could take to improve the lives of LGBT people.
These recommendations come after the recognition we are all aware of that LGBT people have been denied the compassionate services they deserve. That is now changing. HHS continues to make significant progress toward protecting the rights of every American to access quality care, recognizing that diverse populations have distinctive needs. Safeguarding the health and well-being of all Americans requires a commitment to treating all people with respect while being sensitive to their differences.
Check out the link for amazing recommendations of HHS: http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/LGBThealth.html
These actions address a number of health disparities affecting our community including the expansion of their Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, Non-discrimination Policy, Hospital Visitation rights, as well committees established to identify and remedy gaps in LGBT health, data collection programs and policies. These actions also specifically target key areas of disparities including HIV/AIDS, tobacco prevalence, bullying, adoption, aging and homelessness to name a few. We may be including in more grant opportunities and all grantees of HHS could have LGBT cultural competency in the future! With the follow-through of these recommendations, unprecedented in the history of LGBT health, our community’s health, wellbeing and livelihood will be dramatically changed for the better.
This is just the tip of the iceberg so we urge you to check out these recommendations to see how these can affect you, your families, your programs and our communities.