Health and Human Services to collect LGBT health dataAround the Nation Thursday, June 30th, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has told reporters that her department “fully intends to collect LGBT data, through federal surveys.”
In response to a question from the Washington Blade Sebelius said, “So it is definitely a commitment. We will be adding data questions to the national health surveys. And right now we are looking at developing a slew of questions, market-testing them, coming back and making sure we have the right way to solicit the information that we need.”
Sebelius said that because the federal government had not collected such data before formulating the questions had been difficult.
Sebelius continued, “The problem is that it’s never been collected, and what our folks came back to us with is we have to figure out – and we’re working with providers and advocates right now to actually market-test the questions – how to ask questions in a way that they elicit accurate responses, because collecting data that doesn’t give an accurate picture is not very helpful in the first place. And there has been so little attempt, either directly to consumers or to parents or to anybody else, to ask questions about LGBT health issues that we don’t even know how to ask them.”
In a statement regarding the announcement Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said, “We applaud Secretary Sebelius for her commitment to collecting critical data on the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that LGBT people experience significant health disparities and that we cannot fully understand those disparities and how to address them until major health studies ask about our community.
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