Blue Cross & Blue Shield of R.I. names 5 more LGBTQ Safe Zones

PROVIDENCE – Five Providence-based health care providers and community organizations have earned designation as Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island LGBTQ Safe Zones.

The groups join more than two dozen others that have been certified by Blue Cross as Safe Zones since 2016.

The latest additions to the group are:

  • Day One – a community agency that addresses sexual assault by providing a wide range of services for Rhode Islanders of all ages.
  • Open Door Health – the first health clinic in the state to focus on the primary care and sexual health needs of LGBTQIA+ patients.
  • Sojourner House – a group that serves battered adults and their children through numerous programs designed to help rebuild lives after domestic, sexual or elder abuse.
  • VICTA – a privately owned outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment program founded by experienced mental health providers
  • Pelvic Rehabilitation Services at The Miriam Hospital – the center provides specialized services for pelvic disorders.

To earn a Safe Zone certification, organizations must complete staff training on the care of LGBTQ patients, protect patients and staff from discrimination relating to gender identity or expression, and provide gender-neutral bathrooms and inclusive forms and procedures.

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“Unfortunately we know that great disparities still exist for members of the LGBTQ community in receiving equitable health care,” said Guillaume Bagal, diversity and inclusion lead at Blue Cross. “Seeing a Safe Zone seal at a provider’s office signifies that this is a place where you will receive care with no fear of discrimination, judgement or abuse.”

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.