HRC Blog

Senior Obama Administration Official Speaks at Forum on LGBT Health and Safety

This post comes from Kathy Young, HRC Arizona’s Political Co-Chair:

On Saturday, the HRC Arizona Steering Committee hosted a community forum on LGBT Health and Safety that featured special guest Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary of Aging from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The goal of the forum was to educate attendees on the changes that have been made for LGBT Americans through HHS. The local steering committee began working with the White House Office of Engagement several months ago to plan the event.

Greenlee updated the audience on several improvements that have been made by under President Obama. One of these highlights was President Obama’s directive to require hospitals that receive Medicaid and Medicare to allow visitation of same-sex partners. Under the leadership of Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, there is now a Coordinating Committee within HHS that ensures the department is maximizing services for LGBT Americans.

The forum also included a panel that featured Greenlee; A.J. Pearlman (LGBT Liaison for HHS); Shane Snowdon (Director of Health and Aging for HRC); and Dr. Rebecca Allison (former President of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association.) The panel fielded many questions and provided great information on topics of aging, HR issues in the workplace, HIV/AIDS resources for Native American communities, and more.

HRC’s Shane Snowdon presented on many issues LGBT individuals face in healthcare. One of the big efforts for HRC is to get hospitals to participate in the Healthcare Equality Index. Through the HEI, HRC is able to help provide training to medical facilities on issues relevant to LGBT patients. Research has shown that LGBT Americans are more likely to be under or uninsured because of employment discrimination and lack of relationship/marriage recognition. 

Learn more about HRC’s efforts to strengthen healthcare for LGBT patients through the HEI.

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