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TGNC health care, June 2020

UHS affirms gender identity as an individual’s own conception of themselves

On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized rules that, in effect, eliminate critical protections afforded to transgender members of our community in terms of access to health care and health insurance coverage. This policy change permits discrimination by employers, health care providers, and insurers by changing the definition of gender to that of sex assigned at birth.

University Health Services affirms gender identity as an individual’s own conception of themselves and does not define gender by the sex a patient/client was assigned at birth.

We also acknowledge the additional pain caused by announcing this discriminatory practice on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, during Pride month, amid uprisings fighting for social and racial justice, and while we continue to navigate a global pandemic.

Despite this HHS policy, UHS continues to offer comprehensive, affirming medical and mental health counseling services to transgender and gender non-conforming students, and continues advocating for health equity for all individuals who experience marginalization. We are encouraged by today’s Supreme Court ruling that protects LGBTQ+ employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. As a health care organization, we remain dedicated to our long-held commitment of promoting, protecting, and restoring the health and well-being of the entire community.

If we can support you, call UHS at 608-265-5600 or schedule a time to speak with a provider.

UHS Statement in support of Pride Month 2020
https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/uhs-celebrates-pride-month/

Anti-racism, June 2020

UHS stands in solidarity with our UW-Madison Black communities

The events of the past week deeply underscore the systemic racism of this country. The shootings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others are the latest in a country that has sidelined Black and Brown lives for hundreds of years. As health care professionals, we also know that traditional health care systems have failed communities of color, a fact highlighted by the disproportionate impact of COVID-19. As individuals and as an organization we must take on the responsibility of amplifying Black and Brown voices and creating change together.

Public health has long acknowledged the negative impact of racism on the health of communities. In this past year, the Dane County Health Council, the City of Madison, and the State of Wisconsin declared racism a public health crisis. UHS is committed to addressing the health impacts of structural racism and oppression. In late 2019, UHS signed on to the School of Medicine and Population Health’s Racism is a Public Health Crisis declaration.

UHS strives to promote, protect, and restore health and well-being. We recognize and acknowledge that implicit bias, oppression, discrimination, prejudice, and inequitable systems of power and privilege impact our campus community. Studies show that these factors affect students’ physical, mental, and emotional health, sense of belonging on campus, and academic achievement. As a health care organization serving the campus community, we work to:

  • Challenge systems of oppression to create a more inclusive campus community;
  • Recognize and eliminate the prejudice and discrimination that have traditionally affected healthcare delivery;
  • Reduce health disparities; and
  • Continually refine our cultural awareness and competence through professional development, engaging in ongoing self-examination of our biases, and seeking feedback.

Our work needs to be centered on the voices that need to be amplified the most. As one of the first steps, UHS will create and require all employees to be on boarded and participate in continuing education that firmly roots the understanding of racism as a public health crisis. We will continue to examine policies for health equity and call one another in to the conversations of essential anti-racist work.

We join the American College Health Association in its recent statement about the impact of racial marginalization and health equity.

When Patrick Sims, UW’s deputy vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, asks, “When will we get it?” UHS answers that we hear this call and will work even harder to undertake “the simultaneous systemic and behavioral work needed to dismantle institutional injustice and reverse its impact.”

We can’t wait for this to “end” – the end of protests can only come with active, intentional anti-racism work. The “end” means the reinvestment of being ardent advocates for health equity.

If we can support you, please call UHS at 608-265-5600 or schedule a time to speak with a provider at www.uhs.wisc.edu.

To our UW Black communities: we hear you and we see you. Your Lives Matter.

More from UW-Madison

A message to our community From Chancellor Rebecca Blank (May 31, 2020)

When Will We Get It?  A message from Patrick J. Sims, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion  (June 1, 2020)

University Health Services Diversity & Inclusion Statement

UHS strives to promote, protect, and restore health and well-being.  Because of this mission, we hold a strong commitment to the diverse UW–Madison community and the promotion of equity and justice. We recognize and acknowledge that implicit bias, oppression, discrimination, prejudice, and inequitable systems of power and privilege impact our campus community. Studies show that these factors affect individual physical, mental, and emotional health, sense of belonging on campus, and academic achievement. As a healthcare organization serving the campus community, we work to:

  • Create and sustain an environment that respects and welcomes people from diverse backgrounds;
  • Affirm and honor diversity in all its forms included but not limited to: race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, citizenship, national origin, age, ancestry, physical/mental ability, political beliefs, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, body size, and socioeconomic status;
  • Challenge systems of oppression to create a more inclusive campus community;
  • Recognize and eliminate the prejudice and discrimination that have traditionally affected healthcare delivery;
  • Reduce health disparities; and
  • Continually refine our cultural awareness and competence through professional development, engage in ongoing self-examination of our biases, and be open to feedback.