Are we at the tipping point in LGBT Health?


by Emilia Dunham

Reporting from the Trans Health Summit in San Francisco

We all know that in our community’s history has experienced severe health disparities compared to the general population.  Rob Garofalo of Chicago’s Howard Brown University wraps up the Summit with a summary of the LGBT IOM Health Report and what this could mean for LGBT populations.  Rob was on the committee developing this report.

With all these incredibly supportive reports and recommendations to include LGBT populations, could this mean that these amazing recommendations could still be implemented and have a tremendous ripple effect to heal the health wounds in this community with Health People 2020 and now the LGBT IOM Health Report.

So what is changing?

  • HHS is including gender identity in its non-discrimination plan, hospital visitation policy and approach to including LGBT persons in all policy decisions
  • AMA’s LGBT Advisory Panel, non-discrimination policy, support of DADT, recommendations to include LGBT healthcare
  • HRC and other organizations are holding organizations, hospitals and insurers accountable to fully include LGBT populations.
  • There are more RFAs and research including, and specific, to LGBT populations.
  • WPATH is revising its standards of transgender health care

We are coming out of a dark place in LGBT health, but with the number of organizations (government, local, private, etc) coming on board to support LGBT inclusive health policies, research and care is considerable.

But what do you think?

Published by Emilia Dunham, MPP, MBA

Emilia Dunham is currently a Project Manager at MassHealth/Department of Public Health, and formerly the Project Manager of the Life Skills project at The Fenway Institute, an HIV intervention study for young transgender women. Emilia worked at Fenway for 7 years, first as a Quality Control and Regulatory Assistant mainly involved with biomedical HIV prevention trials, before serving as the Program Associate for The Network for LGBT Health Equity, a network instrumental in many national LGBT health policy improvements. She is also involved with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, serving as a Steering Committee member and the Policy Committee Co-Chair, an organization largely responsible for the recent passage of the Trans Rights Bill. Additionally she serves as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, Co-Chair of the Recommendations Committee. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. There she served as President of the LGBTQ student group where she planned programs such as Pride Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and AIDS Week. In addition, she advocated for LGBTQ inclusive policies and programming on campus such as a Gender Neutral Housing program, an LGBTQ Center and the expansion of Women’s Studies to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Emilia recently earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration in health policy and management from the Brandeis Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.

4 thoughts on “Are we at the tipping point in LGBT Health?

  1. I don’t think we’re quite at the tipping point yet. More awareness of LGBT health issues at the top (policy/research/etc) is a good thing. But these recs and policies have yet to fully reach down to the ground level. Especially in places where trans populations are dependant on medical care in low income clinic settings.

    There’s still a long way to go when it comes to actual practice.

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