Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  TODAY'S BUZZ

Sebelius remarks to National Coalition for LGBT Health
From a news release
2011-10-19

This article shared 3338 times since Wed Oct 19, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Remarks as prepared for delivery, October 17, 2011, Washington, DC, by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Thank you VerĂ"nica for that kind introduction.

I want to thank Daniel Gould and Hutson Inniss for their leadership as well.

And I want to thank every one of the coalition members here today for your tireless work on behalf of the health and well-being of LGBT communities.

I am delighted to be here today. But I know that recently for some, there has been sadness as well with the recent loss of two of the LGBT community's strongest voices for justice.

Frank Kameny was a true pioneer whose courage and leadership shaped the gay rights movement for half a century.

And Paula Ettelbrick transformed how our nation -- and our laws -- define what it truly means to be a family.

Their contributions were enormous. And their passing is a terrible loss. It is a reminder to all of us that we build on the work of those who came before of us -- and that we have a lot more work still to do.

It has been a decade since the National Coalition for LGBT Health was founded.

Ten years ago, a group of health leaders came together to advocate for LGBT health to be included in the federal government's 10-year blueprint for a healthier nation known as Healthy People 2010.

What came out of those initial efforts was the LGBT Companion Document to Healthy People 2010 -- a report that brought together, in one place, a wide range of resources for anyone seeking to apply the Healthy People principles to their work with LGBT communities.

This was a powerful tool. And it was a challenge to the federal government to do better.

Ten years later, I'm happy to report we've made progress. When we launched Healthy People 2020 last December, LGBT health didn't need a companion document. For the first time, it was its own section.

I'm sure you agree it was about time. And it reflects the work that you, the LGBT community, and the public health community has done over the last ten years.

As a result of your work, today, we have a far better understanding that LGBT Americans face real and significant health disparities — another terrible consequence of discrimination, oppression, and social stigma.

We also know that it is possible to begin closing these disparities. The means are within our reach. It requires recognition, research, and access to resources -- specific attention from health care providers and public health professionals committed to advancing LGBT health.

And we recognize the importance of federal support. That is why over the last two and a half years, the Obama Administration has used all the tools available to us to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have a chance to reach their full potential.

And I want to take a few moments now to talk about some of the progress we've made.

As you know, last year, we issued rules giving all hospital patients, including those with same-sex partners, the right to choose who can visit them in the hospital.

These rules apply to all hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid and since announcing them, we've reached out to the state agencies in charge of enforcing the rules to make sure they are up to speed and fully prepared to enforce them. We see this as good health care policy but more importantly, it is a matter of simple justice.

And we didn't stop there.

The President also directed our Department to follow up with additional recommendations for action — concrete steps we can take to improve the lives of LGBT Americans.

Many of the recommendations that we ultimately gave the President came out of discussions with advocates and organizations across the country — including many of you here today. Now, many of these ideas are already being put into action.

For example, we are taking aggressive steps to protect every American's right to access our department's programs.

What that means under our new non-discrimination policy is that all HHS employees are explicitly directed to serve everyone eligible for our programs -- without considering factors such as race, national origin, color, religion, sex, disability, age, status as a parent, genetic information -- or, of course, sexual orientation or gender identity.

We also know that in order to better serve LGBT communities, we need to better understand the specific health challenges they face. And we can't do that without the good data necessary to conduct quality research.

So this summer we released an LGBT Data Progression Plan in order to begin integrating sexual orientation and gender identity variables into HHS national surveys.

And last month, we held the first of two listening sessions to begin data collection in transgender communities.

But one thing we already know is that access to community-based providers who are knowledgeable and culturally competent is important for every community. That's why we're taking steps to give community health centers the tools to double their capacity and reach underserved communities.

For example, last month our Health Resources and Services Administration awarded nearly $250,000 to the Fenway Institute in Boston to create a National Training and Technical Assistance Center to help community health centers improve the health of LGBT populations.

This will help develop curricula specifically targeted to LGBT populations.

And by working closely with state primary care associations, we expect its benefits to reach communities across the country.

We are steadily reaching more and more health care professionals and giving them better tools to support LGBT patients. But we also know that not everyone can afford to be patient in a system that is slow to change.

Chief among them are LGBT youth who are more likely to be homeless than their peers and 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide. So many of our agencies have paid special attention to the steps they can take today to improve the lives of LGBT youth.

For example, we're working within our child welfare system to place LGBT foster children in loving homes. And just recently, we released a report with recommendations for providing the best possible care in shelters for homeless LGBT youth.

Whether we're changing hospital visitation rules or working to stop bullying in our schools, each of these policies touches countless people's lives.

And together, they represent an ambitious commitment to every single American to make sure that absolutely nothing stands between them and the best and safest health care possible.

That same commitment runs through the Affordable Care Act, which is steadily moving us toward a health care system that is focused on the needs of patients, not insurance companies.

The law is already protecting LGBT Americans from many of the worst abuses of the industry.

A year and half ago, insurers could cancel your coverage when you got sick just because you made a mistake on your application.

Under the Patient's Bill of Rights, this practice has been banned, along with other harmful policies like lifetime dollar limits on coverage, which often meant your benefits disappeared when you needed them most. And annual limits are going to be a thing of the past come 2014.

The Affordable Care Act is also helping millions of LGBT Americans gain access to recommended preventive care and screenings for free, including for diseases that affect LGBT populations at rates higher than other populations. This includes cancer screenings, blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, HIV testing, and contraceptives.

And as of last fall, insurers can no longer deny coverage to children because of their pre-existing health conditions — a protection that will extend to every single American in 2014.

In these ways, the Affordable Care Act may represent the strongest foundation we have ever created to begin closing LGBT health disparities.

But you know the health law remains under attack. So we need you to use your voices to make sure it remains the law of the land.

No one is in a better position to help the people who can benefit from this law's new rights and protections. And no one is in a better place to reach people with the tools and information they need to achieve their full potential.

I know most of you have been fighting these battles for a long time. And you may not have always had active partner in federal government. But that is changing.

We have come a long way in ten years but we still have a long way to go.

Our fight against HIV/AIDS is an important example.

Thirty years on, we still aren't doing enough for all the populations the disease effects. And I am especially concerned about the rising number of infections among young gay men of color.

At a time when our nation is making such important strides to break down walls of discrimination aimed at LGBT Americans, we need to do everything we can to make sure that the next generation is here and healthy to enjoy the benefits of that progress.

I want to thank you again for inviting me to speak with you this morning. And I look forward to taking a few questions.

As you have shown us over the last decade, when we come together, we can make a huge difference.

Where once we failed to study LGBT health at all, today researchers engage LGBT populations and are looking to collect the data we need to ground our work in science and shape our vision for the future.

Where once LGBT youth felt scared and alone, today we know how to build safe schools and loving homes. Where once, patients saw their rights denied and care beyond reach, today we can promise the dignity and support they deserve.

We have begun to push open doors that seemed shut forever. Looking ahead, the future gives me real hope. And I'm looking forward to working with you to make it as bright as possible.


This article shared 3338 times since Wed Oct 19, 2011
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Chicago adds five states, Puerto Rico to COVID travel advisory
2021-08-04
On Aug. 3, Chicago added five states and Puerto Rico to its travel advisory, recommending that unvaccinated people entering the city from those areas test negative for COVID-19 or quarantine upon arrival, according to NBC Chicago. ...


Gay News

EI, LGBT Chamber mark approval of LGBTQ-inclusive corporate law
2021-08-02
--From a press release - Equality Illinois and the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois celebrated approval by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker of a legislative measure to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion on corporate boards of directors. State law already requires ...


Gay News

Equality Illinois' new deputy director talks goals, position and books
2021-08-01
On July 15, Mony Ruiz-Velasco officially started in the new position of Equality Illinois' deputy director. Ruiz-Velasco is an experienced attorney who has worked for immigrants rights for many years, and has even been the legal ...


Gay News

HEALTH Face masks recommended indoors throughout Chicago
2021-07-30
Chicago now recommends that everyone older than 2 should wear a mask when indoors as the delta variant spreads and the city passes 200 new COVID-19 cases a day, The Chicago Tribune reported. The move, announced ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker issues executive order creating new office of equity
2021-07-30
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — Building on the administration's ongoing work to advance equity and inclusion, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order establishing the Office of Equity to promote diversity, equity ...


Gay News

Bernie Hansen's gay-rights legacy remembered
2021-07-30
Activist Arthur Johnston recalled the late 44th Ward Alderman Bernie Hansen as perhaps "the most unlikely gay-rights alderman." Johnston—one of the activists involved with, among other endeavors, the push for the city's Human Rights Ordinance i ...


Gay News

Bill would expose schools that discriminate against LGBTQ students
2021-07-29
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) and Representatives Chris Pappas (NH-1), Sharice Davids (KS-3), and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) introduced the Exposing Discrimination in ...


Gay News

Passenger claims rainbow mask was banned; airline responds
2021-07-29
On his flight out of Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month for a 46th birthday vacation in Greece, gay West Hollywood resident Scott Schmidt donned a rainbow-colored surgical mask in order to adhere to the ...


Gay News

Pappas introduces legislation to establish LGBTQ veterans advisory committee
2021-07-29
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, introduced legislation to establish an ...


Gay News

VIEWS U.S. Senators: It's time to act against anti-LGBTQ discrimination
2021-07-28
Georgia has had the eyes of the nation on it for some time now. It's just over five years since people across Georgia braced themselves as lawmakers sent sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation to the desk of then-Governor ...


Gay News

Howard Brown Health calls on businesses, LGBTQ events to re-implement COVID restrictions
2021-07-28
--From a Howard Brown press release - (Chicago, IL, July 28, 2021) — Howard Brown Health, the Midwest's largest LGBTQ healthcare organization, is imploring local businesses and public event producers to implement strict COVID-19 safety and prevention ...


Gay News

Gay Calif. donor convicted in deaths of two Black men
2021-07-28
On July 27, a federal jury convicted wealthy California political donor Ed Buck, 66, on charges he injected gay men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex, leading to two deaths and other overdoses, CBS News reported. ...


Gay News

Report: LGBTQ elected officials up by 17% in past year; 28,116 more would be equitable representation
2021-07-28
--From a Victory Institute press release - Out for America 2021 report finds 986 out LGBTQ elected officials nationwide; Black LGBTQ elected officials increased by 75% in the past year; Mississippi is only state in the nation with zero known LGBTQ elected officials ...


Gay News

Pritzker signs bill decriminalizing HIV transmission, other pro-LGBTQ measures
2021-07-27
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a legislative package on July 27 at Center on Halsted that, effective immediately ends the decades-long law criminalizing HIV transmission in Illinois. Illinois is now the second such state to repeal ...


Gay News

CDC: Some vaccinated people should wear masks indoors
2021-07-27
To prevent further spread of the Delta variant, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance on July 27 to recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS






Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.