Joint Statement: AMA & GLMA:  LGBT Issues to be included



JOINT STATEMENT: AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AND GAY AND LESBIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AND GAY AND LESBIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCE COMMITMENT TO INCLUDE LGBT ISSUES IN HEALTH DISPARITIES EFFORT

WASHINGTON -- Officials of the American Medical Association (AMA) emerged from a meeting with the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) on Saturday, March 12 with a commitment to fully include the health concerns of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans in the AMA's ongoing work to eliminate health disparities.

AMA leadership said it will seek to expand the scope and focus of the Commission to End Health Care Disparities launched earlier this year.

The scope of the Commission has been focused primarily on addressing disparities based on race and ethnicity. GLMA asked the AMA to help expand the scope of the Commission to include disparities experienced by GLBT people.

"It's good science, good policy and a matter of basic fairness to ensure that in prevention and treatment of disease and in health research and education, GLBT people are in the mix as much as any other group that experiences disparities," said AMA President John C. Nelson, M.D., M.P.H.

In 2004, the AMA House of delegates approved an advisory committee to address GLBT concerns. The new seven-member Advisory Committee on GLBT Concerns will be announced shortly. GLMA will be represented on the committee.

"With the creation of our new Advisory Committee on GLBT Concerns, the AMA is demonstrating its commitment to full inclusion of GLBT people in all our work," Dr. Nelson added.

"We are grateful for the AMA's willingness to fully engage in a discussion about GLBT health issues and look forward to continued cooperation to accomplish our mutual goal of a healthier America" said GLMA Executive Director Joel Ginsberg.

GLMA leaders had requested this week's meeting following concerns over public comments made last month by Dr. Nelson regarding the decision of New York Medical College to ban its gay and lesbian student group.

During Saturday's meeting, Dr. Nelson reiterated AMA support for addressing issues important to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) physicians and apologized to anyone who was offended by his earlier comments.

Ginsberg said he appreciated Dr. Nelson's words. "We know Dr. Nelson to be a caring man who has demonstrated his commitment and concern for our community over many years.

We felt his words were an honest mistake and not reflective of his intent or character. We're pleased that he has so directly taken responsibility for his words and apologized for them."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 15, 2005 CONTACT: R.J. MILLS, AMA MEDIA RELATIONS 312-464-5970 Joel Ginsberg, GLMA 415-613-5635, jginsberg@glma.org


AMA President Addresses GLMA Conference, 2005

Presee Release Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, 9/05


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