Improving Care for the LGBTQ Community
On Monday, June 15th, 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision effectively banning discrimination against LGBTQ people in the workplace for the first time. As we celebrate this win for human rights in the workplace during Pride month, it's important to recognize that no federal protections exist for LGBTQ people in other sectors such as education, lodging, restaurants, etc., and only 22 states (CA included), ban this discrimination broadly. In healthcare, protections for LGBTQ patients, and particularly for those who are transgender, were actually
rescinded by the Department of Health and Human Services
on June 12th.
At UCSF, we have long been leaders in the LGBTQ space, but there is a lot more needed. A UCSF Health specific practice improvement committee appointed by Mark Laret and led by Jeff Chiu and Shay Strachan has begun the internal work to optimize our LGBTQ patient care.
In the work of this group, one specific request from LGBTQ patients is to be able to easily identify LGBTQ providers. You will soon have an opportunity to provide your status as such for our website, if you would like. Stay tuned for this announcement.
At UCSF Health, Shane Snowdon (former UCSF LGBTQ director) is currently offering free training for groups of providers, trainees, and staff.
Request a consultation
- To learn more about LGBTQ patients—their clinical concerns, how to optimize communication with them, and more—visit the National LGBT Health Education Center. The federally funded Center offers numerous free trainings designed for busy healthcare providers, with CME credit.
- The group PFLAG (originally launched, in 1981, as Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) offers a wealth of general information about LGBTQ people, as well as a very accessible brochure for allies, “Straight for Equality in Healthcare.”
Importantly, the work of providing equitable and welcoming care to our LGBTQ community rests not only with these centers, but with all of us and our teams across all of our services. Recognizing that LGBTQ patients and families have historically experienced being treated differently, the simple act of welcoming body language and warm words from us can help to communicate that they belong here at UCSF, under our care, and can help begin the healing process.
Special thanks to Shane Snowdon for providing all the resources for this issue of One Good Thing, and thanks to all who are leading in these efforts at UCSF and nationally.