ALL ARE WELCOME
By: Monica McKee, MPH
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) is committed to providing safe and equal care to all Native Americans.
Statistically, receiving this “equal” care is not something that members of the LGBTQ+ population often experience. LGBTQ+ individuals report frequently feeling uncomfortable, disrespected, and not supported within the American health care system. Due to this, members of the LGBTQ+ community are statistically less likely to have health insurance, avoid seeking health care when needed, avoid lifesaving preventive health screenings, and may rely on emergency rooms for basic health care. The LGBTQ+ community is also at higher risk for cancer, mental illness and suicide.
The risks of these health problems are even higher for Native American LGBTQ+ patients, as they already belong to a minority population known to be more prone to certain health issues.
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic’s Diversity Council and Transgender Treatment Team have recently been established, and work side-by-side to address LGBTQ+ inequalities throughout the organization. To help serve our LGBTQ+ patients better, OKCIC sought designation as an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader through the Healthcare Equality Index (HEI).
According to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the HEI is a national LGBTQ+ tool that evaluates health care facilities, practices, and policies related to LGBTQ+ patients, employees, and their families for health care.
A record of 680 health care facilities actively participated in the 2019 Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) survey. Of those included in the 2019 HEI, 406 earned a “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation with two health care facilities being from Oklahoma. Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was one of those facilities, receiving the top score of 100 on the HEI survey.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to be awarded LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader,” Lisa Toahty said, Prevention Specialist for OKCIC. “We are proud to be the only Native American health care facility in the U.S. that provides an inclusive non-discrimination policy for LGBTQ+ health care.”
In addition to achieving national recognition, OKCIC is proud of the medical services available for our LGBTQ+ patients.
- Primary Care
- Women’s/Men’s Health
- Behavioral Health
- HIV Testing
- STD/STI Testing
- Vision Exams*
- Hormone Management**
- *Optometry services may be limited. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 ext. 390.
- **Hormone management services are provided by our Board Certified Endocrinologists on the Gray care team. They can be reached at (405) 948-4900 ext. 308.
If you feel you are at a higher risk for HIV/AIDS, pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) medication is available to lower the chance of getting infected.
PrEP can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body. It is highly effective for preventing HIV if used as prescribed, but it is much less effective when not taken consistently.
Daily PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent. Among people who inject drugs, it reduces the risk by more than 70 percent. The risk of getting HIV from sex can be even lower if PrEP is combined with condoms and other prevention methods.
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), as your medical home, will always strive to provide a safe, welcoming and culturally appropriate clinic environment that does not discriminate against any person on the basis of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or transgender status so that all LGBTQ+ patients will be treated with respect, and according to their gender identity.