Gay & Lesbian Medical Association and National Coalition for LGBT Health Applaud Institute of Medicine Study on LGBT Health
Washington, DC – The Institute of Medicine today released its long-awaited report, The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. The National Institutes of Health commissioned this groundbreaking report, and a distinguished panel of experts dedicated more than a year to evaluating the state of LGBT health research and crafting recommendations for improving the health of the LGBT community.
Hutson W. Inniss, Executive Director of the National Coalition for LGBT Health, and Hector Vargas, Executive Director of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, issued the following joint statement marking the report’s release:
“The IOM report on LGBT health is a significant and welcome advance in efforts to address the health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people across America. With this comprehensive report, the IOM joins a growing chorus of voices – from federal and state governments to research institutions, associations of health professionals, and community-based organizations – calling for policies, programs, and research agendas that directly confront the critical health issues facing LGBT individuals and their families. This report builds on existing initiatives that seek to promote the health and wellbeing of LGBT people, such as the new LGBT Health topic area in Healthy People 2020, the creation of an LGBT Interagency Work Group at the federal Department of Health and Human Services, and ongoing efforts to secure inclusion of the LGBT community in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“As the self-described ‘adviser to the nation to improve health,’ the IOM is a voice that commands attention. The IOM’s findings and recommendations are a powerful tool for policymakers and advocates working on priorities such as ensuring LGBT inclusion in federally supported health surveys; promoting research to improve the health of LGBT people; addressing the discrimination and associated health disparities that continue to plague the LGBT community, especially LGBT people of color and others who must cope daily with additional sources of discrimination such as racism and sexism; and educating health care providers about the health disparities affecting their LGBT patients.
“The Gay & Lesbian Medical Association and the National Coalition for LGBT Health were proud to participate in the development of this report through the expert testimony and public comments that we and many of our partner organizations provided to the committee. We congratulate the IOM staff and committee members, many of whom are long-standing colleagues in the field of LGBT health, on their response to this historic charge from the National Institutes of Health. In the coming months, we look forward to working with the NIH and other government and research bodies to translate the report and its recommendations into concrete, sustainable advances in the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people everywhere in America.”