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Ohio Hospital Paving the Way for Better Care for LGBT Families

photo of James Page
photo of James Page
June 19, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A growing number of children in Ohio and across the nation are being raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender families. To ensure they receive equitable health care, many hospitals and medical providers are stepping up and implementing policies to meet their specific needs.

The Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, James Page, says children should have access to the basic resources they need for healthy development, regardless of their parents' sexual orientation or gender identity.

"The individuals that come in that have two moms or two dads are treated with respect. It is not a novelty, it's not something to be treated differently. They have a loving family structure just like a heterosexual family unit."

To improve the care of all patients, Cincinnati Children's has taken measures that address both patient and employment non-discrimination, patient/family visitation, and training in LGBT patient-centered care. Today, the hospital is celebrating the announcement of being named a "Best Health-Care Facility for LGBT families" in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2012 Health-Care Equality Index.

In the United States, there are an estimated 2 million children being raised by LGBT familes and they often face obstacles in accessing quality health care, such as restrictions on decision making and unwelcoming health-care situations. Page says it's crucial to create environments where teens and young people feel comfortable talking to medical professionals.

"If someone is holding back the fact that they are gay to their doctor, there's a whole segment of their life that they are not talking about that could be really relevant to their safety and medical care."

Page says they've also created an LGBT employee resource group called "Equal" that specifically works to increase the understanding of cultural diversity among the staff.

Cincinnati Children's is the only freestanding pediatric hospital in the nation to receive this recognition.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH