NYC Launches New Program to Help LGBT Patients

NYC area hospitals will now require staff to watch a training video on how to better care for LGBT patients

New York City hospitals plan to show all of their 38,000 staff members a video depicting how discrimination can devastate LGBT patients navigating the healthcare system, hoping to encourage employees to better serve the community.

“This is a city that has a very large population of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals who come to our facilities for help, and we need to be as sensitive and respectful of their needs as everybody else’s,” says Alan Aviles, president of the Health and Hospitals Corporation.

The mandatory training video, entitled, “To Treat Me, You Have to Know Who I Am,” uses real stories of LGBT patients who suffered because of unfair treatment in hospitals to illustrate the need for more acceptance, compassion and understanding when working with the LGBT community.

“I was a cancer patient and I was denied care at two major New York City hospitals at a time when I had just received diagnosis of very highly aggressive breast cancer,” says Jay Kallio, a transgender male. “My doctor admitted he had real problems with my transgender status.”

The video was developed in conjunction with the National LGBT Cancer Network, and as the first program of its kind in the nation, could become a model for other hospital training programs aimed at improving the healthcare experience for LGBT patients.

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