Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Celebrating LGBTQ Pride MonthEach June, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is celebrated in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The first Pride March took place in June 1970, initiating month-long events and celebrations annually. UI Health is proud to join in this year's celebration by highlighting employees that are members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Hilario "Lalo" Lechuga, healthcare reimbursement analyst, shares that, "Celebrating Pride is not so much about a parade or a party. It is about celebrating all those people that came before us who gave their lives and fought so hard to accomplish the rights and freedoms that we now have. Those early activists paved the way." 

UI Health recognizes the inequities present in healthcare for the LGBTQ+ community and is dedicated to removing barriers to care. Patients can visit our LGBTQ+ Inclusive Care site to learn more about inclusive care services and specialists available at UI Health. Our commitment includes providing exceptional care to LGBTQ+ patients and families by treating all patients with dignity, respect, and compassion regardless of age, race, religion, culture; language; ethnicity; physical or mental disability; socioeconomic status; sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression; veteran status; or any other status protected by law.

Cotis Mitchell, visiting administrative fellow, expresses why he is proud to work at UI Health. "I'm also proud to work at UI Health because we are committed to providing care to the LGBTQ+ community and are recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index in multiple areas."

UI Health has been named a "LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader" by the Human Right's Campaign's 2022 Health Equality Index (HEI), an annual survey that evaluates health systems on key criteria for non-discrimination policies and practices. 

Robbe Walton, past LGBTQ patient navigator, further expands on our HEI designation stating, "I see this designation not as a final destination, but as a continuous commitment of striving towards providing a positive experience for LGBTQ+ patients, employees, and families. There are so many employees within UI Health who are passionate about this journey and are working to ensure continued advancement towards this mission every day."

Other employee spotlight participants highlight their desire to better advocate for LGBTQ+ patients. Ricardo Ramirez, occupational therapist, states, "There is limited research and practice involving the LGBTQ+ community. I often have to challenge myself to think outside the box in order to best serve my adolescent youth. Moreover, I constantly need to advocate for my patients so that others respect their name, pronouns, gender, and sexual orientation."

As a patient-centered organization, UI Health strives to provide safe and high-quality care for all patients. Actively practicing inclusion and diversity, both among patients and employees, is essential to our mission of promoting health equity. This Pride Month, we invite you to join us in celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. 

Visit Celebrate.UIHealth.Care to learn more about LGBTQ+ Pride Month and to read employee spotlights.