With the number of LGBTQ+ families set to rise at historic rates in the near future, it’s time for physicians to make their practices more inclusive and welcoming to the specific needs of the community.
Recently, the Family Equality Council (FEC) published a comprehensive research study designed to help us better understand the landscape of family-building for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) adults in America today.
The report included some inspiring statistics-all of which point to the fact that the number of LGBTQ+ families in the United States is set to grow dramatically in the coming years. In fact, the report states 77 percent of LGBTQ+ millennials (ages 18-35) are already parents or are considering having children-a 44 percent increase over previous generations. With the number of LGBTQ+ families set to rise at historic rates in the near future, it’s time for primary care physicians and all medical providers to make their practices more inclusive and welcoming to the specific needs of the community. Creating an inclusive practice for the LGBTQ+ community requires time and intention. A very focused effort could yield a designation with the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation awards HEI status to policies and practices that meet the highest standard of LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality, a status our practice was awarded in 2017 and 2018, and one that must be earned each year. While gaining momentum to garner HEI status, here are five ways providers can make their practices more inclusive immediately.Mark Leondires, MD, is the practice director of RMA of Connecticut and founder of Gay Parents To Be.