About the LGBTQIA Healthcare Guild

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Our Mission Statement

The Healthcare Guild is a grassroots organization of medical and mental healthcare professionals dedicated to improving healthcare services for gender and sexual minorities.

Our website, healthcareguild.com, serves as a consumer healthcare resource and referral network for consultation, advocacy, and education. The guild exists to support an individual’s entire social ecology, such as the family, educational, occupational, recreational, and spiritual social systems.  We advocate for culturally competent healthcare based on the premise that LGBTQIA identities are as equally valid as heterosexual identities. 

Sexual and gender minorities may identify outside of the dominant culture’s concept of a binary male/female heterosexual orientation or heteronormative gender identity.  Awareness of the diversity of these identities continues to emerge even though they have been classically described as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, (LGBTQIA) and so forth.

In summary, the Guild:

a) serves as a referral and resource center for LGBTQIA consumers

b) educates consumers about how to find culturally competent and affirming healthcare providers

c) unites LGBT-affirming providers for networking and professional development

d) provides education and consultation for developing practitioner cultural competency

e) advocates for sexual and gender minorities by promoting inclusive and competent healthcare policies

Promoting Multicultural Competence

The Guild promotes multicultural competence as a framework within which LGBTQ-affirmative psychotherapy or medical treatment must be conducted.  Multicultural competence is composed of three dimensions:

(a) knowledge (i.e., an understanding of the cultural history of one’s client, relevant identity development models, sociopolitical contexts, and experiences with discrimination),

(b) skills (i.e., development of culturally sensitive interventions),

(c) awareness (i.e., ability to self-reflect on and manage one’s biases, assumptions, and limitations) (Lyons, Bieschke, Dendy, Worthington, & Georgemiller, 2010).*

* Lyons, H. Z., Bieschke, K. J., Dendy, A. K., Worthington, R. L., & Georgemiller, R. (2010). Psychologists' competence to treat lesbian, gay and bisexual clients: State of the field and strategies for improvement. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(5), 424-434.

About the Healthcare Guild Leadership Collective

The Guild is operated through a Shared Leadership Collective, which is a more horizontal model of leadership based on a broad distribution of leadership duties. Avolio, et al. (2009) describes this as, “According to Day et al. (2004), team and shared leadership capacity is an emergent state— something dynamic that develops throughout a team’s lifespan and that varies based on the inputs, processes, and outcomes of the team. It produces patterns of reciprocal influence, which reinforce and develop further relationships between team members (Carson et al. 2007). The most widely cited definition of shared leadership is that of Pearce & Conger (2003): “a dynamic, interactive influence process among individuals in groups for which the objective is to lead one another to the achievement of group or organizational goals or both. This influence process often involves peer, or lateral, influence and at other times involves upward or downward hierarchical influence” (p. 1). The term shared leadership overlaps with relational and complexity leadership, and differs from more traditional, hierarchical, or vertical models of leadership (Pearce&Sims 2002).”
  1. *Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J.(2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 421–449.


About the Healthcare Guild - Video

About the Healthcare Guild

The Healthcare Guild is a community-focused, grass roots organization of licensed mental and medical healthcare professionals, as well as students-in-training.  We share a collaborative commitment to make affirming culturally competent healthcare available for all sexual and gender minorities based on the premise that LGBT and heterosexual identities are equally valid. 

The Guild recognizes that sexual and gender minorities are at higher risk for healthcare disparity.  This is often due to avoiding the healthcare system out of fear of rejection.  LGBTQIA individuals are also more likely to engage in higher risk-taking, such as elevated rates of alcohol, tobacco and substance use in response to social stigma or prejudice.  In response, the Guild serves to educate both consumers and providers about healthcare concerns specific to LGBTQIA populations.

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