Health service standards and LGBT patients

Rainbow health heart

Photo via OutBoulder

BY KELLAN BAKER, Guest Blogger

On Wednesday the Office of Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services released the new National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS). The new CLAS Standards, which have been under development for several years, are a groundbreaking response to increasing awareness of the factors that frequently prevent diverse populations such as the LGBT community from getting the health care that they need.

Cultural competency is a major concern for LGBT people in health care settings across the U.S. The implementation blueprint for the standards emphasizes that discrimination based on factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression impedes the provision of quality care and services. It calls on facilities and providers to provide all individuals with assurances that disrespect or discrimination of any kind is not tolerated.


Kellan Baker is Associate Director of LGBT Progress.

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