Institute of Medicine Examines LGBT Health Concerns

In what is being called a first for the Institute of Medicine, the organization is addressing the needs of the entire LGBT community in a comprehensive way. Over the next several months, the committee will conduct a review and prepare a report assessing the state of the science on the health status of LGBT populations.

On Monday, Feb. 1, Dr. Jason Schneider, Immediate Past President The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA), presented testimony to the IOM’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities in Washington, DC. “It was an honor to be present in a room surrounded by many leaders in the LGBT research community,” said Dr. Schneider. “Today was a truly historic event that will yield tangible results and have a direct impact on the health of our community.”

Serving as the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.

As part of the study, the IOM committee will identify research gaps and opportunities related to LGBT health and outline a research agenda that will assist the National Institutes of Health in enhancing its research efforts in this area. Additionally, the committee will consider research training needs to foster the advancement of knowledge about LGBT health and identify impediments that hinder such advancement.

In the presentation made by Dr. Schneider, GLMA asked that the IOM “not shy away from strong recommendations related to politically charged issues. Legal recognition of same-sex relationships and marriages, non-discrimination in employment, and same-sex parenting and families are topics that, while polarizing, directly affect the health and wellness of LGBT people.  These issues are deserving of special focus as research gaps and opportunities.”

GLMA members Robert Garofalo, MD; Judy Bradford, PhD; and Harvey Makadon, MD have been appointed to the IOM study committee. GLMA will also continue to assist and participate in future activities organized by the committee. 

To read GLMA’s testimony to the IOM’s Committee on LGBT Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities, visit GLMA.

For more information about the IOM’s Committee on LGBT Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities, visit IOM LGBT.

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