On Feb. 18, a task force created to advise the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) on LGBT health disparities met for the first time. The LGBT Health Task Force discussed the implementation of a resolution (House Resolution 15-206) approved by members at PAMED’s annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting held in Hershey on Oct. 24-25, 2015.
At the HOD Meeting, members resolved to advocate for expanded access and eliminate health care disparities for LGBT Pennsylvanians. The resolution calls on PAMED to:
- Advocate to expand access and eliminate health care disparities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Pennsylvanians
- Advocate for future research efforts that are specifically designed to investigate LGBT health issues
- Make information on LGBT health issues available to Pennsylvania physicians
PAMED member Jarrett Sell, MD, a family medicine physician from Harrisburg, chaired the meeting, which marked the first time a group on LGBT health disparities has been convened by PAMED. The Task Force—comprised of physician and non-physician representatives from across the Commonwealth—will be conducting further work in each of the three areas in the resolution: advocacy, research, and education.
“Last week’s Task Force meeting was historic for PAMED,” said Michael R. Fraser, PhD, CAE, FCPP, executive vice president of PAMED. “It is the first time PAMED has taken on the issue of how to truly address health disparities in for LGBT patients in Pennsylvania. I look forward to sharing the work of the Task Force with the House of Delegates this year, but more importantly, seeing the work of the Task Force truly benefit and improve patient care across the state.”
The next meeting of the Task Force will address advocacy issues. Future meetings will cover research needs and education for physicians—including physicians in training—to better understand the various issues impacting LGBT health.
PAMED members interested in this issue are encouraged to share their thoughts and perspective with PAMED. You can help inform the Task Force’s work through contributions related to advocacy, research, and educational programs. To share your ideas, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.