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health care provider and patientWhy should service providers be educated about LGBT health issues?
Wisconsin's LGBT youth and adults are at increased risk for adverse health outcomes in regard to alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, safety and violence, mental health, and HIV/AIDS when compared to their non-LGBT peers. While the causes of these health disparities are complex, they are centered on four main issues. First, some members of the LGBT community are reluctant to divulge their sexual orientation or gender identity to healthcare providers. Second, not enough healthcare providers have been trained provide culturally competent care to LGBT individuals. Third, structural barriers limit the access LGBT people have to healthcare. Last, there are not enough culturally appropriate and targeted prevention services for the LGBT community.

How can clinical practice influence LGBT health disparities?
Factors in the clinical setting that can contribute to LGBT health disparities include negative societal attitudes toward sexual minorities, lack of appropriate physician education about LGBT issues, and communication shortfalls between medical professionals and patients. Because most medical training programs in America do not include LGBT cultural competence as part of the required core curriculum, many healthcare professionals are not aware of how to create a supportive environment for LGBT patients and counsel them about issues relevant to their lives and behaviors. However, by learning how to address the health concerns of LGBT people, health care providers can take important steps toward reducing health disparities in the LGBT community.

The following resources are intended to increase awareness among healthcare providers of health issues and disparities affecting LGBT people. Use the left hand navigation bar to learn more about any of the health concerns addressed below.               

All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages.

Hyperlinks marked with the State icon icon indicate Wisconsin resources. 

Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community: A Field Guide
Description:
The Joint Commission developed this resource to encourage US hospitals to create a more welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment that contributes to improved health care quality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients and their families.
Resource availability:
Internet

Center of Excellence for Transgender Health
Description: Based at the University of California, San Francisco, this academic center focuses on  increasing access to comprehensive, effective, and affirming healthcare services for trans and gender-variant communities.
Resource availability: Internet

Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Description:
News, educational programs, advocacy, and health resources for LGBT people and clinicians
Resource availability: Internet

Guidelines for Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Patients (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Description:
Guidelines for clinicians published by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association 
Resource availability:
Internet

The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding
Description:
Institute of Medicine report evaluating current knowledge of the health status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations; identifying research gaps and opportunities; and outlining a research agenda to help the National Institutes of Health focus its research in LGBT health.
Resource availability:
Internet

Improving Engagement and Retention in Adult Care Settings for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Youth Living with HIV -- A Guide for Adult HIV Healthcare Providers (PDF, 280 KB)
Description: Resource guide for health professionals
Resource availability:
Internet

LGBT-Friendliness Kit for Primary Care PhysiciansState icon
Description: Information resources for primary care physicians (PCPs) to support clinical environments that are welcoming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons as well as other sexual and gender minorities.
Resource availability: Internet

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Description: A 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
Resource availability: Internet and toll-free hotline: 1-800-273-TALK [8255]

Practitioner’s Resource Guide: Helping Families to Support Their LGBT Children
Description: Clinician's guide designed to help health, mental health and social service practitioners implement best practices in family-focused prevention and care for LGBT youth.
Resource availability: Internet

Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center
Description:
Educational opportunities for those interested in substance abuse treatment and counseling, with a special focus on LGBT populations
Resource availability: Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Internet

Promoting Cervical Cancer Screening Among Lesbian and Bisexual Women
Description: Policy paper from the Fenway Institute addressing the importance of cervical cancer screening for lesbian and bisexual women.
Resource availability: Internet

Policy Focus: Why Gather Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Clinical Settings
Description: The Fenway Institute's policy brief highlighting the importance of gathering information about patients’ sexual and gender identity in clinical settings.
Resource availability: Internet

Policy Focus: How to Gather Data on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Clinical Settings
Description: The Fenway Institute's policy brief recommending ways to gather information about patients’ sexual and gender identity in clinical settings.
Resource availability: Internet

Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Description: 7th version of the Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. 
Resource availability:
Internet

StopBullying.gov
Description: Information from various government agencies on how kids, teens, young adults, parents, educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying.
Resource availability: Internet

Tips for Health Care Providers When Working with Bisexual Clients (downloadable) (PDF, 17 KB)
Description:
Information on communication and building a safe environment for bisexual clients, published by the Fenway Institute
Resource availability:
Internet

Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations Information and Resource Kit
Description: Resource for prevention professionals, healthcare providers, and educators regarding current health issues among LGBT populations.
Resource availability:
Internet

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Recommended Actions to Improve the Health and Well-Being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities
Description: Summary of the efforts taken by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as recommendations for future action.
Resource availability:
Internet

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Gay & Bisexual Men

Lesbian & Bisexual Women

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LGBT Youth LGBT Older Persons Educators Service Providers

Last Revised: July 28, 2014