Investing in access to holistic health care for our LGBTQIA+ communities

November 10, 2023 Swedish Communications

[4 min read]

In this article: 

  • Swedish is proud to welcome and serve LGBTQIA+ communities and is committed to connecting patients to the care they need. 
  • All five Swedish campuses received top scores and recognition on the Human Rights Campaign's 2022 Health Care Equality Index. 
  • In 2022, Swedish saw a 273% increase in referrals for LGBTQIA+-informed care.  

Swedish’s goal is to become a leader in providing LGBTQIA+-informed care in the Puget Sound. Through its LGBTQI+ program, caregivers and leaders illustrate a deep investment in expanding access to high-quality care for LGBTQIA+ communities. Here are some examples of the program’s strategic commitments and achievements in 2022: 

Clinical resources and services

  • The LGBTQI+ program piloted a clinician training program on adult gender affirming hormone therapy with more than 30 clinicians and launched an e-consult service for patient referrals across several Swedish departments. With more than 50 e-consults conducted this year, plans to grow this service in 2023 are already underway.  
  • Swedish facilitated Part I of an LGBTQIA+ symposium for 132 primary care clinicians and other health care professionals to discuss non-medical interventions to support gender-diverse youth. Part II will occur in 2023.

Data collection and reporting

  • The LGBTQI+ program made progress on standardizing collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data and a health equity learning collaborative helped improve communication among caregivers about the importance of SOGI data collection for patients. This data is important in ensuring specific health needs are identified and addressed. As a result of these efforts, SOGI data collection improved by 25% in 2022.

Culture change for patients and caregivers

  • For the first time, all five Swedish campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Issaquah and Edmonds – received top scores and recognition on the Human Rights Campaign's 2022 Health Care Equality Index for their commitment to equitable and inclusive care, policies and practices. 
  • A record number of Swedish caregivers marched in the Seattle Pride parade in June, demonstrating collective support and acknowledgement of this important event in the Puget Sound region.  
  • A patient and family advisory council composed of members from the LGBTQIA+ community was established to advise Swedish caregivers on more inclusive cervical screening practices. 
  • Introductory LGBTQIA+ health trainings on services and resources available at Swedish, terminology, data collection, pronouns and health inequities facing the LGBTQIA+ community, were deployed in 29 Swedish departments for more than 176 caregivers.

Care navigation and referral networks

  • The LGBTQI+ program grew its transgender and gender diverse navigation services and established a robust referral network for patients to receive LGBTQIA+-informed care, primary care, housing information, food stability and behavioral health services.  
  • Swedish received 273% more referrals in 2022, compared to the prior year, and is currently evaluating how to scale these services across other parts of the organization. 

Swedish is proud to welcome and serve LGBTQIA+ communities and continue its commitment to connect patients to the care and services they need. 

“We have made phenomenal strides and continue to build important partnerships with community organizations to provide informed, holistic and LGBTQIA+-affirming care to our patients,” said Kevin Wang, M.D., medical director, Swedish LGBTQI+ Program.

Learn more and find a provider

If you have questions about LGBTQIA+-informed care, contact LGBTQIA+ Care or Transgender Health at Swedish. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits.

Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction, and follow up as needed. If you need to find a provider, you can use our provider directory.

Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Related resources

Informed health care improves outcomes for LGTBQ community | The Seattle Times

How two trans community leaders are making a difference at Swedish

Working toward more compassionate and inclusive care for the LGBTQIA+ community

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.

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