Below are several actions the clinic can adopt to assure people in the community that it is welcoming of SGM patients and increase their confidence that they will receive quality care.4; 5
Encouraging relationship building. Clinic administrators can encourage staff to take part in community coalitions focused on SGM people or governing bodies of local SGM organizations. They can also invite people from such organizations to participate in dialogues about local perceptions of the clinic, including what is working and what to improve to best serve SGM patients.
Supporting or participating in an SGM community event. The clinic can sponsor a pride event that celebrates SGM social and self-acceptance or support a local SGM fundraiser or gathering, such as one for Transgender Day of Remembrance. The clinic can also have a booth or information table at such events or sponsor a staff team at an AIDS Walk or similar activity.
Making information about SGM health and health care available. The clinic can share SGM health care information on its website and via social media channels and distribute flyers, brochures, and other literature in waiting areas. This information can address a range of topics: cancer prevention and screening, safer sex, reproductive health, family planning, and caregiving. Clinic providers and staff can also distribute these materials through SGM spaces, such as LGBTQ resource centers, transgender resource centers, and community health fairs.
Advertising the clinic’s inclusivity or SGM-specific programs. Advertising programs for SGM patients or publicizing the clinic’s inclusivity will make its commitment to elevate the health status of this population explicit even before patients arrive for care. Consider advertising on the clinic’s website and in brochures, signs, billboards, and local publications.
Making an ombudsperson available to SGM patients. Designating one or more employees to be liaisons to patients and community members communicates the clinic’s intent to respond to their needs. In addition, specifying sexual orientation and gender identity as crucial issues that such liaisons can address will convey the clinic’s commitment to SGM patients.
Supporting public policy. Clinic staff can support legislation and public policies to reduce SGM disparities, such as nondiscrimination policies. They can also advocate against public policies that are hurtful or harmful to SGM people, such as anti-transgender legislation.