Across the nation, the LGBT+ community is finding new ways to raise their voices and celebrate Pride Month while keeping their communities safe in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. At CentraState, we’re shining a spotlight on a new committee formed to address the needs of the LGBT+ community as they navigate the healthcare system.
Established in the fall of 2019, the mission of CentraState’s LGBT+ Inclusion Committee is to ensure that all members of the community receive compassionate, quality care in an environment free from discrimination. The committee examines and addresses the issues of LGBT+ inclusion through structural, patient-centered and staff-centered lenses to ensure a positive experience for all.
LGBT+ individuals face many barriers when attempting to access healthcare. Sometimes these issues are based on discrimination; other times, it is simply a lack of knowledge from healthcare providers. Once an LGBT+ person has experienced discrimination in healthcare, they are often significantly less willing to access care.
Studies have shown that LGBT+ individuals often have significantly worse healthcare outcomes than cisgender and heterosexual patients. These inequalities can include:
- Lower overall health status
- Increased risk of some cancers
- Higher rates of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use
- Increased chance of developing disabilities at a younger age
Additionally, lesbians are less likely to get preventative services or screenings for cancer, including mammograms. And 19% of transgender persons lack any type of health insurance.
Together with the committee, CentraState will work to do its part to reduce these areas of inequality and to create a welcoming environment for staff, patients, and families.