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Creating an equitable and inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ patients, team members: how you can help

04/27/20 02:25:pm

lgbtq.jpgOne in 20 patients at Rogers self-identify as trans and even more identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. However, this figure is likely under-reported because many individuals may choose not to disclose this in the electronic health record due to stigma, tracking limitations, or discomfort disclosing gender identity/expression. They may also fear discrimination from healthcare providers, insurance, or employers.

Based on these statistics as well as feedback from patients and families, Rogers is launching a new initiative to better advocate for patients and team members of varying sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

“We are committed to being responsive to the needs of our LGBTQ+ patients, families, and employees so that we can consistently ensure an equitable workplace environment and inclusive, high-quality care,” says Sarah Reed, PhD, Rogers InHealth program and evaluation manager.

The initiative was developed during a two-day vertical value stream led by Dr. Reed and Melissa Nelson, PhD, Brown Deer campus clinical director. The value stream resulted in an 18-month plan that will explore five distinct phases: policy and legal review, clinical practice, creating comprehensive training, incorporating training, and culture change.

Dr. Nelson says that “we are working on more inclusive and confidential means of gathering data regarding how many patients identify as transgender or gender expansive. We are also working to gather estimates on how many Rogers patients might identify as a sexual minority since this is not currently captured.”

Phase five, culture change, is something that has already begun, with changes to the Rogers business card and email signature templates to allow for preferred pronoun disclosure. A committee is being formed to develop additional culture change, trainings, and long-term communication strategy.

How you can get involved

If you are interested in joining the new committee or would like more information, please email Dr. Nelson at Melissa.Nelson@rogersbh.org.

To help those who would like to be allies but aren’t as familiar with terminology around sexual orientation and gender identity, follow this link to common definitions from the Human Rights Campaign’s website.

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