Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Plight of Limited English Speakers: Role Reversal

Fluency, Inc., the sister company of Language World Services, Inc. recently released one of the most hard-hitting, powerful short films Wilson-Stronks has seen demonstrating what it is like for limited English speakers to try to receive health care in the United States.

Please watch this and share it with others you know working in the health care field.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEfrsSqZ-9s&feature=plcp&context=C466ed30VDvjVQa1PpcFPQXFVh0qAqT6EZ845_XnkTbzvgO6V4Pps

Health Care Rights for Transgender Individuals: A New Precedent?

A recent state ruling in Colorado finding an elementary school guilty of discriminating against a first grade transgender student may set the precedent for transgender individuals across the nation. The New York Times highlighted the story of Coy Mathises, a six year old who was born biologically male, but from an early age identified as female. Her parents informed the school to treat her as such, and the school complied, to a point. The six year old was told she could no longer use the female restrooms and must use the staff bathroom or gender neutral restrooms; the school feared that as Coy grew older, other students may feel uncomfortable with Coy in the restrooms.

Colorado clearly found that the school violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws. What does this mean for healthcare? Currently 17 states offer legal protections for transgender individuals. Hospitals in these states, and in all states, should abide by policies to reduce discrimination against transgender individuals by acknowledging individuals by the gender they identify as and by considering implementing gender-neutral restrooms. This is by no means a simple issue, but there are pro-active steps hospitals and healthcare systems can take to avoid discrimination. Hospitals should start by adapting anti-discrimination policies in their hospitals and by learning their state’s legal rights. In states with anti-discrimination laws for transgender individuals, hospitals are generally considered places of public accommodation and should abide by these rules. In states without protections for transgender individuals, hospitals and health systems should still consider adapting anti-discrimination policies. It is against federal law for hospitals to turn away an individual from an Emergency Room for any reason, including a transgender individual.

Know your state’s health rights:

http://www.aclu.org/lgbt-rights/know-your-rights-transgender-people-and-law

http://www.nclrights.org/site/DocServer/StateLawsThatProhibitDiscriminationAgainstTransPeople.pdf?docID=7821

NY Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/us/agency-says-district-discriminated-against-transgender-student.html?_r=0

Don’t Miss the Annual GLMA Conference this September!

Don’t miss the annual GLMA Conference September 18-21st in Denver Colorado. Regular registration ends August 23rd.****Register here: http://www.glma.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=559 Amy Wilson-Stronks will be presenting on a plenary panel titled Improving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Care as Culturally Competent Care, with Ignatius Bau, Independent Heath Policy Consultant, and Mateo Ledezma, Clinical Director of the Center of Excellence in Culturally Competence Care for LGBTI Health Equity at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

This session will be held Friday, September 20th from 11:15 am-12:15pm.

More about the plenary panel:

In the past few years, U.S. health care providers and systems have increased their awareness of the importance of providing culturally competent care to diverse patient populations. Principles of cultural competency and of patient- and family-centeredness have become integrated into national health care quality frameworks, standards and measures. This session first will provide an overview of cultural competency frameworks, standards, and measures adopted by national health care quality and accreditation organizations such as the Institute of Medicine, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Association of American Medical Colleges, National Quality Forum, Joint Commission, National Committee for Quality Assurance, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. As cultural competency becomes recognized as an essential element of health care quality, awareness of the unique health issues and health care disparities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients and families also has increased. This session will make the case for ensuring that improvements in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health care are essential to achieving high quality, patient- and family-centered, culturally competent health care.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this plenary session, attendees will be able to identify cultural competency measures used by at least three national health care quality and accreditation organizations.
By the end of this plenary session, attendees will be able to define the concepts of cultural competency and of patient- and family-centeredness.
By the end of this plenary session, attendees will be able to make that case that improvements in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender health care are essential to achieving high quality, patient- and family-centered, culturally competent health care.