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New LGBT Community Healthcare Guideline for Providers Released

Because healthcare providers often lack the basic cultural competency on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, creating barriers to adequate healthcare access for their LGBT patients, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has released a new guideline, Straight for Equality in Healthcare.

The new guide was created with the assistance of a diverse committee of healthcare professionals in fields such as primary care, mental health, nursing, and allied health disciplines.

Topics include:

  • Why should I care about gay people in my practice?: The case for inclusion.
  • Making a diagnosis: Understanding and identifying personal barriers around LGBT issues and specific steps on how to overcome them.
  • Lidocaine for your nerves: Being supportive need not be nerve-wracking. Simple, nonpolitical ways to start signaling acceptance of LGBT people in your practice are outline.
  • Resources: Basic terminology, sample inclusive intake forms, nondiscrimination policies, and connections to other resources.

"For many healthcare providers, it isn't a case of not wanting to be inclusive of [LGBT] patients, but rather a sense that it isn't an issue - or, when it is, confusion around how to talk about it - that gets in the way," said Jody M. Huckaby, executive director, PFLAG.

"Making the case for inclusive and competent healthcare for LGBT patients is critical and by providing simple and accessible information to healthcare professionals, we can transform the experiences of LGBT people in the healthcare system," said Huckaby. "This guide will create more effective relationships between straight healthcare providers and their LGBT patients and can radically improve healthcare for our community."

Straight for Equality in Healthcare is the second publication from PFLAG's Straight for Equality project launched in 2007. Since its inception, the project has trained more than 3,500 people nationwide on the topic of how to be a straight ally to the LGBT community.

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