Author Archives: Wilson-Stronks

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:

NY Times article:

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: 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.

Discrimination Against HIV-positive Patient Results in Termination of Funding for California Surgeon

This announcement just came across my email: “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the termination of Medicaid funding to a California surgeon who intentionally discriminated against an HIV-positive patient by refusing to perform much-needed back surgery.”
The announcement went on to conclude that the surgeon had violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This act prohibits disability discrimination by healthcare providers who receive federal funds.

I will point out (though I am not an attorney), it is my understanding that medical malpractice insurance does not cover violations of federal civil rights laws.

Tip: Healthcare organizations and providers should educate themselves and their staff on issues of discrimination, specifically what it is; who it involves; how to recognize it; how to prevent it; and how to report it. As those advocating to promote diversity and inclusion, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care are very aware, cases such as this can often be prevented with appropriate training and education. While I cannot comment on the specifics of this case, I do hope it serves as a wake-up call to healthcare that discrimination oversight exists and that no one is immune from it. For my colleagues and fellow advocates, we should view this as a sign that the journey toward inclusiveness and non-discrimination continues; our work as important as ever.

Quality Healthcare for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender People: A Four-Part Cultural Competence Webinar Series

If you missed the November 15th webinar, you are in luck! GLMA is offering an encore presentation!

The November 15th webinar was so successful that GLMA and the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions is offering it again on Thursday, December 13 at 3pm Eastern.

To register please visit Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Nathan Levitt, RN, Community Outreach and Resource Nurse
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York, NY

Learning Objective
By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:
Describe barriers faced by LGBT people in accessing healthcare and why these barriers exist.
Identify concrete tools to incorporate into your school, organization, hospital, or healthcare center to create a welcoming and safe environment for LGBT people and families.

About the Series
The webinar series is an education program open to anyone interested in learning about the healthcare needs of LGBT people. This cultural competence four-part series will explore the health concerns and healthcare of LGBT people. We will review the social determinants that influence how LGBT people seek and receive care and the impact those influences have on health. We will virtually follow the experience of LGBT people and those of us who care for them to better understand how we can create healthcare environments that are welcoming and can help minimize the existing disparities experienced by this population. We will delve into the clinical concerns specific to LGBT persons- both in terms of physical health and mental health- so we can better understand how to create comprehensive systems of care that support positive outcomes and experiences for LGBT people and result in high quality healthcare.

A partnership between Gay and Lesbian Medical Association and the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Quality Healthcare for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender People: A Four-Part Cultural Competence Webinar Series

Plan to Attend! 8th National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations

Plan to Attend

The Eighth National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations: Achieving Equity in an Era of Innovation and Health System Transformation

March 11-14, 2013, Oakland, California

New partnerships between health care organizations and communities, research into improved ways to deliver care, and changes in health care policy are opening up opportunities to achieve equity and the highest quality health care for culturally diverse populations. In this time of transition, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and advocates for health equity can focus attention on implementation, participation and improving health outcomes for individuals and communities. The 2013 conference will offer participants the opportunity to hear from experts and front-line leaders about how diverse populations are affected by:

state and national reform efforts
changes to the Medicaid program
innovative technology for information management and outreach
social determinants of health
other practice and financing developments.
As always, the conference will continue to feature both established and innovative cultural and linguistic competence and disparity reduction programs and policies from across the country and abroad. Support the conference by spreading the word! Please forward this email to your friends and colleagues. All conference details are available on the DiversityRx website. For any questions about the conference, contact us

NQF Endorses Measures of Health Disparities and Cultural Competency

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has endorsed 12 measures of health disparities and cultural competency, seven of which are contained in the American Medical Association’s Communication Climate Assessment Toolkit (C-CAT)!
This is great news! The C-CAT is an excellent tool for healthcare organizations to measure how they inhibit or enhance the flow of crucial information. It is one of the tools mentioned by The Joint Commission as a way to improve patient-centered communication. More information about the C-CAT can be found at
To share this good news, the AMA has put together a press release that can be found at the following link:
The press release developed by NQF to communicate the endorsement decision can be found at the following link:

Stronks and Wilson-Stronks to Present on Faith-based Healthcare at 30th Annual GLMA Conference

On September 19, 2012 the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association kicks off its 30th Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. Amy Wilson-Stronks will be presenting with Whitworth University’s Lindaman Chair Julia K. Stronks, JD, PhD on the topic, Faith based Healthcare and the LGBT Community: Recent Advances and Barriers to Equitable Care. This session will explore the real and perceived barriers faced by faith-based institutions as they navigate care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients and families. Stronks’ research on faith, law, and public policy will inform a discussion around efforts to promote LGBT equity and patient-centered care in faith-based institutions. Amy Wilson-Stronks will share her work collaborating with Catholic Health Systems to integrate LGBT health equity into overall cultural competence strategy.

The session is scheduled for Thursday, September 20th at 1:30 pm. For more information visit:

Please join us in promoting health language access to clients in the state of Indiana

Strategies for Excellence in Healthcare Conference

Earn 6 CEU’s

v Raise legal access awareness

v Promote recognition and advancement of the medical interpreter

v Advocate for policy change

v Increase health disparities awareness

v Increase knowledge of specialty areas of interpretation: mental health

v Raise equal access awareness


“Our hopes are that this conference will serve as a platform for the enhancement of professional standards and state policy formation centered on medical interpretation and its relationship to safe practice.  It will also highlight the need for legislators, interpreters, educators, and health care administrators in addressing barriers faced by non-English and limited English proficient patients.  The intended outcome is to decrease health disparities and increase access to healthcare for all Indiana residents.  Please join us!”


The Landing * 2801 S. Michigan St.

South Bend, IN 46614

Please register by April 23, 2012 – fees are NON-REFUNDABLE after this date!

Registration fee: $45.00

Early registration by April 1st, 2012:  $40.00

Current students and NIMIA/IMIA members: $35.00

e-mail the following form to:

or send to: NIMIA att: Maria Schwieter

1701 Monroe ST.

La Porte, In 46350