Healthful Opportunity

'Out and Healthy' conference focuses on LGBT community health issues

by Will O'Bryan
Published on November 1, 2007, 12:00am | Comments

While any number of GLBT-related health summits, workshops and seminars have cropped up in Washington over the years, there's always room for one more -- and it's a big one.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) have partnered with Aetna, the Fortune 100 health-insurance giant, to present Out & Healthy: The National Health Conference on LGBT Healthcare Delivery and Opportunities, Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 in Washington.

"What's different is while there has been the LGBT Health Summit every two years, this audience is different. They're focusing on the marketplace, rather than the community," explains Rebecca Fox, director of the D.C.-based National Coalition for LGBT Health, the organization behind the summit, which will return to Washington in April.

But while a GLBT-related conference aimed at the marketplace and not the community might raise some red flags among activists, Fox opines that this conference is simply another -- and needed -- opportunity to make collective inroads.

"Insurance companies have the ability to rank their doctors in different levels of cultural competency. To include LBGT[and Intersex] would be a huge step," she offers as an example, adding that insurance and pharmaceutical allies on Capitol Hill could be a huge boon for the GLBT community. "This [conference] shows they're very interested in having this conversation. All of the businesses sponsoring this really show support for the community. It's a really exciting opportunity."

The full list of sponsors and collaborating partners, as well as registration information, is available via www.nglcc.org. Out & Healthy will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.