As an advocate, I am often times asked questions about the work that I do. At the 2014 Transgender Spectrum Conference on the campus of the University of Missouri – St. Louis I was asked, “What are we doing for transgender health in Missouri?” With a smile, I was happy to report some great news.
Upon concluding the review process for our Mid-Missouri and Southeast Missouri Hospitals, health advocates were faced with the challenge of sparking interest among rural hospital officials on a review of their LGBT welcoming policies. Knowing the formula for sparking interest among urban hospitals, we knew that rural outreach would be considerably different. Putting on our strategy caps, advocates came up with a road map to engage these hospitals.
At the beginning of February 2015, LGBT advocates in Missouri began reviewing our second list of hospitals on their LGBT welcoming policies. Having successfully accomplished several LGBT policy victories during our first round of outreach, we began to tackle a new beast -- rural Missouri.
Gaining access to affordable health insurance has never been easier. Thanks to Healthcare.gov, LGBT Missourians are able to research and choose a marketplace plan that fits their individual or family needs and purchase the plan – all free from discrimination. This is an amazing step forward for the LGBT community, and a life-saving one for LGBT Missourians.
by: Erin Curran
Manager-Education, Quality Research
Interim Manager-Refugee Health and Interpreter Services
Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence
Different populations of people often times have different health care needs. A 2012 report by the Missouri Foundation for Health identified lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Missourians as a population that experiences poorer health outcomes than the general population.
This year has proven to be a monumental year for LGBT Missourians. Those monumental steps have been the recognition of out-of-state marriages by the State of Missouri, and the leadership of nearly 19 Missouri hospitals, who have been designated as “Leaders of LGBT Healthcare” by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for having welcoming policies inclusive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
This year has proven to be a monumental year for LGBT Missourians. Those monumental steps have been the recognition of out-of-state marriages by the State of Missouri, and the leadership of nearly 47 Missouri hospitals, who have included 105 new LGBT welcoming policies to their core values. As an LGBT Missourian it certainly gives me relief to know that I can access health care facilities and be me: my authentic self.
June 14, 2013 The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted in favor of extending health care benefits in its current health care plan for employees. The Interfaculty Council has been working on this case since 2011. PROMO recently became involved in the effort.