CEO Messages

Embracing Individuality and Health Care Access During LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June marks Pride Month, a time to honor the LGBTQ+ community and embrace individuality. Although much work has been done in health care to build more inclusive environments, the LGBTQ+ community experiences worse health outcomes than heterosexual individuals. Stigmatization, hate, violence, and discrimination are still significant barriers to the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.  

Consider: 

  • The combined effect of high mental stress and barriers to care due to discrimination can lead to poor health outcomes, with LGBTQ+ individuals experiencing higher rates of certain conditions.  
  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are more than twice as likely as heterosexual adults to experience a mental health condition. (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2021) 
  • A troubling 45% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in the past year. (The Trevor Project, 2022)  
  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community often face higher rates of discrimination in health care settings — one-third of LGBTQ+ adults report being treated unfairly or with disrespect by a provider, more than twice the rate of heterosexual adults (15%). (KFF, 2024) 

As California’s hospitals celebrate with Pride events throughout our region, Hospital Council is reminded of our shared mission to advance health equity, the environment in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their highest level of health. It is our “Just Cause” in the infinite game of health care, which Simon Sinek further describes in his book The Infinite Game.  

While there is no easy or simple solution, by recognizing and understanding the health needs of LGBTQ+ individuals and striving to provide the best care possible, your hospitals’ impact will be positive for everyone. All Californians deserve access to quality health care, and everyone deserves freedom and safety to embrace their individuality — not just during Pride Month, but year-round.