June 17, 2021, 2:03 p.m. News Staff — The AAFP has long considered health care an essential right for all individuals. In fact, roughly a decade before Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to officially recognize what was then called Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, the Academy adopted Health Care for All, a policy that, among other things, states “that health is a basic human right for every person and that the right to health includes universal access to timely, acceptable and affordable health care of appropriate quality.”
The Academy has been ― and continues to be ― a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, among both its members and the public. In 2001, for example, the Academy established the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender member constituency (renamed the LGBT member constituency in 2016), with representation at the National Conference of Special Constituencies (now the National Conference of Constituency Leaders).
The Academy has also published numerous review articles and related materials and created CME products to guide members in caring for LGBTQ+ patients. Most recently, the Academy joined several dozen national and state medical and health care organizations in supporting the Equality Act, which would provide “affirmative, statutory nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans” at work and in the community.
This year, in recognition of what is now known as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the Academy extensively revised its LGBTQ Health Toolkit webpage. The updated page includes links to more than 20 relevant journal articles, blogs, policies and educational offerings, providing members with access to dozens of LGBTQ+-related resources in one convenient location.
The webpage updates have been organized into two broad categories.
“Articles & Blogs” features recently published Family Doc Focus news items, Fresh Perspectives and Leader Voices blog posts, American Family Physician articles and editorial pieces.
“Education & Policies” directs members to various webinars and CME products and provides links to a number of internal policy statements and external transgender health resources.
The new categories complement the webpage’s existing directories on science and education, tools and resources, and advocacy.
Michael Monroe, clinical and health policy strategist in the Academy’s Division of Research, Science, and Health of the Public, explained how FPs can take advantage of the resources in an email to AAFP News.
“We know that there are significant disparities in health outcomes for members of the LGBTQ+ and other gender and sexual minority communities,” said Monroe. “Family physicians are committed to transforming health care and eliminating the stigma and inequities that lead to these disparities. By providing evidence-based, comprehensive information on the health needs of LGBTQ+ patients, these resources are a great start.”
Monroe also noted that the recent updates to the LGBTQ Toolkit webpage should not be considered a singular event, but part of an ongoing process to provide AAFP members with relevant news and information that helps FPs provide the best possible care to LGBTQ+ patients.
Members are invited to bookmark the page and look for more updates as additional content becomes available.