For Immediate Release
April 1, 2011
World Professional Association for Transgender Health Welcomes IOM Report
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Board of Directors welcomes this week’s release of a new report on disparities in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health from the Institute of Medicine (IOM). This important document marks the first time the IOM has directed inquiry into the health status of and barriers experienced by LGBT people. The report authors recommend further support for methodological research relating to LGBT health and the systematic collection of data regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.
Dr. Walter Bockting, the Association’s President, said, “For transgender health in the United States, the release of the Institute of Medicine report on LGBT health is a true milestone. The fact that the report acknowledges that transgender health is an important area of study and intervention holds much promise for improving access to quality transgender care. As WPATH President, it was an honor to serve on the Committee that prepared this report. Now is the time for our members and the larger scientific community to help carry out one of the report’s main recommendations: To implement a research agenda that expands all aspects of the evidence base for transgender-specific health care.”
Disparities in health and access to health care for transgender people have been documented in a number of needs assessment studies and community surveys, but a lack of recognition has limited the applicability of these early studies. The IOM report calls for “a comprehensive research training program that would raise awareness of LGBT health issues among researchers.” WPATH agrees that such a program would greatly benefit transgender and transsexual people and lead to better application of research, and better health outcomes for the clients and patients our Association members serve. We look forward to seeing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) response to the recommendations in the report, and are hopeful that the report’s recommendations will be implemented in the near future.