Equality Florida Institute Partners with LGBT HealthLink to Promote LGBT Healthcare Bill of Rights: Tele-Town Hall Attracts 1,400 Participants

by Brian Winfield, Equality Florida Managing Director and Chair of the Florida Health Equity Research Institute’s Leadership Board


brian-winfieldLGBT HealthLink, Equality Florida Institute, and lawyer Corey Prachniak are joined by over 50 partner organizations in creating and promoting the first ever LGBT Healthcare Bill of Rights (HBOR). The document, in both long form and wallet sized versions, outlines the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients when they enter a healthcare environment.HBOR

Prachniak, Chair of LGBT HealthLink’s Steering Committee, explained the significance of HBOR: “We have more healthcare protections now than ever before, but what’s holding us back is that people don’t always know about them. This tool is intended to change that reality.”

Brian Winfield, Equality Florida Managing Director and Chair of the Florida Health Equity Research Institute’s Leadership Board, added, “Many Floridians don’t realize that the Joint Commission now prohibits anti-LGBT discrimination in virtually every hospitals in Florida and across the nation. This Bill of Rights also serves to inform doctors, nurses, administrators and insurers of their obligation to treat LGBT patients fairly and equally.”

The push to promote the HBOR by Equality Florida and LGBT HealthLink, a program of Ft. Lauderdale-based CenterLink, was timed as a lead-up to the February 15th ending of open enrollment for insurance exchanges. “Too many people don’t realize that insurance exchanges can’t discriminate against LGBT consumers,” Prachniak pointed out. “This is the type of information we need to be shouting from the rooftops.”

LGBT HealthLink’s Dr. Scout expressed hope that the new Healthcare Bill of Rights will have a long-term effect. “We know LGBT people suffer from stigma related health issues like smoking or mental health problems. We also see doctors less often, which means we have lower rates of seeking preventive care, like cancer screenings. The first step in breaking this chain is getting LGBT people in regular healthcare; we hope this tool will help many of us take that step.”

There was a clear thirst for the HBOR and Out2Enroll information among Equality Florida’s members, with 1,400 participants calling in to the February 10th Tele-Town Hall, sponsored by Equality Florida and Florida CHAIN.  Winfield and Prachniak were joined by fellow panelist Athena Smith Ford, Advocacy Director for Florida CHAIN, for an hour-long discussion about navigating Obamacare and LGBT rights in a healthcare environment. Equality Florida’s CEO, Nadine Smith, emceed the extremely successful event while providing dozens of callers the opportunity to ask important questions of the panel.

To learn more and to download the HBOR, visit http://healthcarebillofrights.org/Partner/33/equality-florida .

Organizations interested in becoming HBOR partners and receiving a copy of the bill with their own branding should contact HealthLink@lgbtcenters.org.

Equality Florida Institute, Inc. is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. www.EQFL.org

List of Current HBOR Partners:

Access Matters (Philadelphia, PA) Affirmations (Detroit, MI) C.L.A.S.H. (San Francisco, CA) Campus Pride

Center for Black Equity, The

Center on Halsted (Chicago, IL)

Community Center, The (Boise, ID)

DC Center for the LGBT Community, The Equality Federation

Equality Florida Institute

Equality North Carolina

Equality Ohio

Fair Wisconsin

Fierce Pride (NM)

Gay Community Center of Richmond

Gender Expansion Project

Gender Rights Maryland

Georgia Equality



Health Initiative, The (Atlanta, GA) Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center Lambda Legal

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Marriage Equality USA

Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center

Montrose Center, The (Houston, TX)

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality, The

National LGBT Cancer Network, The

National LGBTQ Task Force

National Youth Pride Services

Newark LGBTQ Center

One Colorado

one*n*ten (Phoenix, AZ)

Organization for Transgender Health Empowerment Resources

Out, Proud and Healthy In Missouri


Perceptions Saginaw Valley (MI)


Phoenix Pride LGBT Center

Q Center (Portland, OR)

Resource Center (Dallas, TX)

Safe Schools Alliance


Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center (NY) Trans People of Color Coalition

Transgender Law Center

Triangle Community Center (CT)

William Way LGBT Community Center (PA)

Utah Pride



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