By Dr. Mark Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health
June is Pride Month, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of when the world's LGBQ and transgender communities first came together to celebrate the freedom to be oneself. Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of the LGBTQ+ community that has struggled to overcome prejudice and violence.
The original organizers chose this month to pay homage to the Stonewall uprising in June 1969 in New York City, which helped spark the modern LBGTQ+ rights movement. This movement paved the way in order to achieve equity and dignity of LGBQ and transgender individuals and their communities.
This year, Pride Month includes another historical marker. On Monday, June 15, 2020, in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that protections under federal civil rights laws should be extended to include sexual orientation and gender identification. This ruling marks a victory for the rights of transgender individuals who have faced disproportionate discrimination in hiring and harassment at work, and has provided a measure of protection that will help improve the lives of transgender and LGBQ+ people.
At Baystate Health, we honor and recognize our LGBQ and transgender employees, patients and community. We reaffirm our commitment to providing inclusive healthcare to our LGBQ and transgender patients, and we have committed to completing the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index for 2021. This process will further help the action steps in continuing to move the organization forward in meeting our commitments.
Despite the progress made by our nation, the reality is that there are many people who are suffering and who have been left behind. At Baystate Health, it is our obligation as stewards of the public’s health, to impact change one person, one team, and one family at a time. We will advance care and enhance lives using the power of our 12,000 people.