For Immediate Release
April 14, 2015

Contact: Dionne Johnson Calhoun
(202) 724-8105

Grosso Introduces LGBTQ Cultural Competency Legislation for Clinical Medical Providers

Washington, D.C.—Today, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced legislation seeking to narrow LGBT health disparities in the District of Columbia with the introduction of the “LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2015.” The legislation requires two credits of instruction on cultural competency or specialized clinical training focusing on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, queer, or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.

 “Over 66,000 LGBTQ citizens reside in D.C., and they deserve access to medical professionals who are sensitive to and knowledgeable about the unique health needs of the LGBTQ community,” said Grosso.

According to the Joint Commission field guide, “Advancing Effective Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the LGBT Community,” LGBTQ patients face barriers to equitable care, such as refusals of care, delayed or substandard care, mistreatment, inequitable policies and practices, little or no inclusion in health outreach or education, and inappropriate restrictions or limits on visitations. These factors contribute to higher instances of chronic conditions among LGBTQ individuals; higher infection rates of STDs and HIV; higher prevalence of suicide attempts, mental health illness such as anxiety, depression, and addiction; and higher instances of some cancers.

“LGBTQ health disparities are real and this is a contribution to our efforts to narrow those disparities in the District of Columbia. I am proud that my colleague from Ward 7, Health and Human Services Committee Chairwoman Yvette Alexander joined me in co-introducing this bill. Together, we will continue to ensure the LGBTQ community enjoys a greater quality of life in the District of Columbia,” said Grosso.