Providing Enhanced Resources

Cultural Competency Resources

National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care (National CLAS Standards)

The Office of Minority Health (OMH), in collaboration with federal and non-federal partners, published LGBT-inclusive enhanced National CLAS Standards. The National CLAS Standards are a blueprint for health and human services organizations to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services and promote a more inclusive definition of culture encompassing not only race, ethnicity, and language, but also elements such as sexual orientation and gender identity. OMH is working with health care organizations to ensure that awareness, adoption, and implementation of the National CLAS Standards incorporate this more inclusive definition of culture in order to better serve the LGBT community.

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Recommendations on Providing Quality family Planning Services

In collaboration with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Reproductive Health, the Office of Population Affairs has developed and released clinical recommendations, “Providing Quality Family Planning Services.” This document includes evidence-based and evidence-informed recommendations for providing family planning, reproductive, and related preventive health services to all individuals. This document addresses the importance of providing respectful reproductive health care to all individuals, and specifically addresses reproductive health care for LGBT individuals. These recommendations will help health care providers deliver culturally competent and patient-centered family planning and related preventive care specific to LGBT individuals.

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Educational tool helps LGBT residents of long term care facilities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL) released the online learning tool: Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults. The tool is designed to increase awareness of the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals living in long term care (LTC) facilities.

There are approximately 1.5 million adults over the age of 65 who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. By 2030, those estimates are expected to rise to nearly 3 million. Estimates indicate that there are hundreds of thousands of older adults who are transgender.

Unfortunately, research shows many older LGBT adults do not feel safe discussing their sexuality in LTC facilities. “As people who work with seniors every day, it's our job to ensure that everyone has the same protections and rights as their neighbors, friends and families,” noted Kathy Greenlee, assistant secretary for aging and administrator of ACL.

“This training tool will play an important role in educating a wide audience of care providers about the needs of LGBT seniors. It can help improve the quality of care given to this vulnerable population,” said Hilary Meyer, director of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging. “Helping to create a more welcoming environment for our LGBT populations will benefit everybody.”

This resource is available online through the National LGBT Resource Center. Each of the six training modules includes video testimonials, quizzes, and helpful information on how to make LTC more inclusive for older LGBT adults. Each module lasts approximately 10 minutes and can be viewed over multiple sittings.

After completion of the online training, program participants will be prepared to:

  • Increase visibility of the issues facing LGBT individuals in LTC facilities.
  • Provide easy access to information on serving LGBT individuals in LTC facilities.
  • Encourage LTC facilities to provide opportunities for staff to take the online training.
  • Change the way individuals and facilities approach older LGBT adults.

The Building Respect for LGBT Older Adults tool was developed in collaboration with the HHS Office of Public Affairs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and the National LGBT Resource Center, with input from aging and LGBT advocates.

Additional information about ACL is available at The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is the country's first and only technical assistance resource center aimed at improving the quality of services and supports offered to older LGBT adults. To learn more, visit Site exit disclaimer

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  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment re-released ‘A Provider’s Introduction to Substance Abuse Treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals,’ a publication that seeks to inform administrators and clinicians about appropriate diagnosis and treatment approaches that help ensure the development or enhancement of effective LGBT-sensitive programs.

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  • SAMHSA released the Top Health Issues for LGBT Populations Information & Resource Kit, a publication for health care providers and prevention specialists about health experiences of LGBT populations, which includes health information sheets and a PowerPoint presentation.  For more information visit

Video Series—Larkin Street Stories

SAMHSA created Larkin Street Stories, a new three-part video series that offers tips on best practices for providers serving homeless LGBT youth and their families.  The series features LGBT youth talking about their experiences coping with bullying, homophobia, and hate speech, and effective strategies on how to respond to them.

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Geriatric Education Program

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), through its Geriatric Education Program, provided a grant to address the cultural competency of individuals who provide geriatric care for elderly populations. HRSA continues to improve workforce outreach and recruitment activities related to LGBT communities in the National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs.

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Content created by Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)
Content last reviewed