The Institute of Medicine Report: What It Means For Your Family

Yesterday a landmark report was issued by the Institute of Medicine
identifying a need for better tracking of information relating to
the health and wellness of LGBT people. This important report,
commissioned by National Institutes for Health (NIH), shows that
gender identity and sexual orientation matter when collecting data
and their findings have far reaching implications for our

LGBT people and families have unique healthcare needs. Currently
there is very little data to provide insight to healthcare
providers regarding our issues and the little data that does exist
is limited mostly to gay and lesbian adults, with almost no
comparable data on LGBT Families, trans and bisexual people. Also
left out of the current conversation are LGBT youth and the
elderly. The report outlines changes to remedy this. Chris Geidner,
from Metro Weekly, summarizes their recommendations.

The Institute of Medicine clearly recognizes that accurate and
comprehensive information about LGBT families and individuals will
lead to better, more informed healthcare that meets our needs. 
This joint statement from the National Coalition for LGBT Health and the
Gay and Lesbian
Medical Association
explains the report means for us and our

“As the self-described ‘adviser to the nation to
improve health,’ the IOM is a voice that commands attention. The
IOM’s findings and recommendations are a powerful tool for
policymakers and advocates working on priorities such as ensuring
LGBT inclusion in federally supported health surveys; promoting
research to improve the health of LGBT people; addressing the
discrimination and associated health disparities that continue to
plague the LGBT community, especially LGBT people of color and
others who must cope daily with additional sources of
discrimination such as racism and sexism; and educating health care
providers about the health disparities affecting their LGBT

As part of National LGBT Health Awareness week we encourage you to
have a conversation with your family about health and to take steps
to share important information with your healthcare provider
whenever you can.