by Scout, Ph.D. Director, Network for LGBT Health Equity At The Fenway Institute
Sebelius Office Asks CDC Officials to Meet with LGBT Experts to Discuss Health Disparities
In what we’d like to think is a good sign, after the strong message we and our friends at New Beginnings Initiative, Center for American Progress, Federal Agency Project, National Coalition for LGBT Health and others carried to Sebelius the other week about the problems with excluding LGBT disparities from funding, especially the setup that made it extremely difficult to even address any LGBT disparity issues somewhere in the three quarters of a billion in new healthcare reform wellness funding spread out to the states — Secretary Sebelius’ office responded by asking CDC senior officials to come meet with us about their LGBT disparity activities. I’m about to run off to the meeting right now. As always, we plan to come to the table not just identifying the gap, but providing strategies for effective solutions. I’d have to say after listening to the wonderful presentations at the National Coalition for LGBT Health meeting over the last few days, I’ve got one simple message:
Dear CDC: see HRSA and SAMHSA, they’re really making strides in redressing years of LGBT health disparity exclusion.
(see Dear HRSA: Thank You and SAMHSA Leading the Way in LGBT Inclusion)
I’m sorry to hear of yet another teen suicide a few days ago. I was sorry to hear last night of yet another trans woman who was disrespected horribly as she struggled in a hospital and nursing home at the end of her life. These messages of change are hard to carry to federal officials, but I hear those stories and I know we must stand firm in asking that discrimination, whether active discrimination, or discrimination through invisibility, must no longer be tolerated in our health care system.
Yours in solidarity,
ScoutAcronym buster: HRSA = The part of the federal government health system that generally covers healthcare, aka Health Resources Services Administration SAMHSA = The part of the federal government health system that generally covers mental health and subtance abuse issues, aka Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.