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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
11/21/2006  11:39:00 AM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
David Yeaworth, Clark Office, (206) 684-8802
Brian Hawksford, Rasmussen Office, (206) 684-8808

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember Sally J. Clark

SEATTLE’S LGBT COMMUNITY TO RECEIVE BETTER HEALTHCARE
City Councilmembers Announce Funding for Training Program to Improve Cultural Competency

Seattle City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Sally J. Clark announced the Council has added funding in the 2007-2008 budget to support better healthcare for the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents. More than $107,000 will go toward funding a successful agency in a competitive Request For Qualifications (RFQ) process.

The funding will provide training to healthcare and social service providers about how to effectively work with LGBT individuals.

“This is an empowering program for everyone involved,” said Councilmember Clark, “The LGBT community gets better healthcare treatment, healthcare professionals learn how to do their jobs better, and the staff and volunteers who do the trainings make a difference in people’s lives.”

For many social, cultural, and legal reasons, the needs of the LGBT people differ from the heterosexual and non-gender variant people. When healthcare providers lack awareness about the specific needs of LGBT individuals, the result is often sub-standard care. This contributes to the ongoing and significant health disparities among this population. By taking this budget action a training program will be instituted to improve mainstream health services to the LGBT community.

“LGBT seniors have higher rates of chronic illnesses, poverty and disabilities and are more dependent on the healthcare and social service systems,” said Councilmember Rasmussen, “The new training program will work to improve the care of the people who are fearful and vulnerable.”

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