Statement on the Parental Rights in Education Act

In light of Florida’s recently passed Parental Rights in Education Act and the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), American  Pediatric Association (APA), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Pediatric Hospital Medicine (PHM) Conference taking place in the State of Florida, our organizations collectively reaffirm our commitment to improving outcomes for all hospitalized pediatric patients in the communities we serve – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) youth – through open dialogue, celebrating diversity, promoting inclusion, and fostering equitable cultures.

LGBTQIA+ adolescents face well-documented health disparities, including depression, suicidality, and increased substance use disorders. LGBTQIA+ youth also face increased disease prevalence and often encounter obstacles in accessing equitable care in the healthcare system due to a lack of appropriate physician training and interpersonal and structural stigma within the healthcare environment. Frontline clinicians require the knowledge, competence, and experience to appropriately care for LGBTQIA+ adolescents.

In designing the 2022 PHM program and supplemental content, our organizations collectively incorporated the principles outlined in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement and will offer multiple sessions addressing LGBTQIA+ health disparities and review opportunities to create more equitable access to necessary care.

In addition to the academic program, PHM will host an on-site event in support of LGBTQIA+ youth to raise awareness about the disparities they face and the need for increased access to training for clinicians treating them. A portion of the registration fee proceeds will be donated to a Florida-based healthcare organization that is actively engaged in supporting better health outcomes for LGBTQIA+ youth.

We are proud to advocate for LGBTQIA+ adolescents and stand with our diverse communities as an ally in the fight for equal rights for all.