JUNE, 2017
Edie Brous
Nurse Attorney
118 East 28th Street
Room 404
New York, NY 10016
Tel. (212) 989-5469
Fax. (646) 349-5355

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Homophobia is a Public Health Issue
A 2008 article in the American Journal of Public Health noted that, “As with any minority population, the optimal provision of health care and prevention services to sexual and gender minorities requires providers to be sensitive to historical stigmatization, to be informed about continued barriers to care and the differential prevalence of specific risk factors and health conditions in these populations, and to become aware of the cultural aspects of their interactions with LGBT patients.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377288/

A decade later, continuing and dangerous health care disparities illustrate the need for education of health care professionals (HCPs) regarding this community.  Many cultural competency courses address racial, ethnic, and religious belief systems but ignore the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) population. The consequence is unnecessary rates of psychiatric disorders, depression, substance use disorders, and suicide.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3657897/  The aftermath to real human beings of HCP intolerance is homelessness, higher infection rates, compromised access to preventive care, poverty, exploitation, bullying and violence.  https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-health

It always saddens me and makes me angry to see otherwise intelligent and educated professionals remain unknowingly ignorant or overtly bigoted as to the public health implications of stigmatizing certain populations.  Regardless of one’s personal, religious, or political views, all health care professionals should care about disease transmission & progression, population health, and human suffering.  Ethical practice requires professionals to recognize their own biases to improve the health care of all patients. https://www.lgbthealtheducation.org/wp-content/uploads/Improving-the-Health-of-LGBT-People.pdf

The National LGBT Cancer Network provides useful tools for inclusive cultural competence training http://cancer-network.org/programs/cultural-competency-training/  Intolerance can take many forms.  Liz Margolies, the founder and executive director of the National LGBT Cancer Network, has produced a brilliant short film demonstrating the subtle messages we send as providers. Watch Vanessa Goes to the Doctor & be entertained as well as educated.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIGykm6cm_M 
Bar Admissions:
  • New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
  • Southern and Eastern Districts New York Federal Courts
  • United States Supreme Court
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Copyright © 2017, Edie Brous, RN, Esq.