Administration Reaffirms Commitment to Health of LGBT Famiilies

In the spirit of Pride month Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, released the Department’s LGBT Issues Coordinating Committee 2012 Report, highlighting nine objectives for 2012 seeking to target health concerns in the LGBT community through research, health care reform, health surveys, cultural competency, and grant programs.

In 2011, HHS was a major champion of LGBT children and families. After President Obama told HHS to protect LGBT couples, HHS insured that these hospital visitation regulations went into effect and that same-sex couples were given the right to make medical decisions for his or her partner. Additionally in 2011, HHS became one of the many federal agencies on the federal anti-bullying task force that launched This website offers a number of resources for youth and adults in how to effectively prevent as well as address bullying.

HHS did not stop there. Here are a few of the 2012 objectives announced:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) and Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) will create a plan to help behavioral health and primary care practitioners treat LGBT clients in a culturally competent manner. Not only do we want our families to have full access to healthcare, but we expect that healthcare should be provided in a culturally competent manner. HHS will help train doctors and nurses to be knowledgeable on specific health issues faced by individuals in the LGBT community. By providing the tools and training on LGBT health issues, our families will hopefully feel more comfortable seeing their doctors. 

For the first time, CDC will release data from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey for same-sex couples. Domestic violence is not specific to opposite-sex couples. Unfortunately, it is a problem that gets less attention in the LGBT context. HHS has committed itself to not only recognizing this, but also collecting data necessary to see what the next possible steps might be in an effort to prevent and protect individuals from such violence. 

CMS, in partnership with the Administration for Community Living (“ACL”), will release a training video  for healthcare providers about LGBT older Americans, the impacts of the social stigma on the community, and the rights of consumers in nursing homes, hospice, and home health care. As members of our families grow older, their health care needs change. This movie will help teach those we rely on to take care of our aging family members how to do so in the most appropriate manner.

Click here to read the entire report:

By insuring that the LGBT community was specifically targeted in its strategic planning, HHS has shown its dedication to insuring LGBT individuals and families have the health care they deserve.