Maryland health system launches LGBTQ health task force

Frederick (Md.) Regional Health System partnered with its local county health department and the Frederick Center on a health equity task force that aims to improve medical treatment for the LGBTQ community, the Frederick News-Post reports.

The LGBTQ+ Health Equity Task Force's first initiative will be helping medical practices learn how to properly ask and document patients' sexual orientation and gender identity information in the EHR. Currently, just 11 percent of healthcare practices ask for the information, which the task force hopes to increase to at least 50 percent, according to the report.

The Frederick Center is a nonprofit that provides support and education to the LGBTQ community in central Maryland. The task force will hold a meeting in mid-July on EHRs and sexual orientation and gender identity.

People who identify as LGBTQ, especially adolescents, can face higher rates of suicide and mental health issues, according to a recent research report from the Trevor Project. Through its report, the nonprofit organization found that 54 percent of individuals between the ages of 13 and 24 who identify as transgender and gender non-binary have "seriously considered" suicide in the past year.

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