Pro-Equality “Culturally Relevant Healthcare Training” Introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives

Denver, CO – One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans and their families, released the following statements after HB22-1267 “Culturally Relevant Healthcare Training” was introduced in the Colorado House of Representatives. Through grant funding, the bill creates culturally relevant and affirming training opportunities for providers to ensure that they have the resources needed to give patients the care they deserve. 

“LGBTQ Coloradans and their families deserve affirming, inclusive healthcare from  professionals they can trust. Providers need access to updated, culturally-responsive trainings from qualified sources. HB22-1267 creates pathways to meet these needs. Medical professionals are core to the well-being of our communities. Let’s continue progressing towards a higher quality, dignified healthcare for all Coloradans.” –Nadine Bridges (she/her), MSW, One Colorado Executive Director

“There is a severe lack of health care providers with the necessary training and skills to effectively care for LGBTQ+ Coloradans and other communities who experience significant health disparities. It is essential that these communities have access to providers that are able to understand their life experience and respond to their unique health needs. HB22-1267 is a crucial step towards building a more trusted and equipped provider workforce that can consistently deliver identity-affirming and culturally relevant care to all Coloradans.”–Steven Haden (he/him), Envision:You CEO and Co-founder

“No society can be fully democratic if it does not guarantee full participation and contribution to all its citizens. Transgender and non-binary individuals have the right to access high-quality healthcare. This bill supports our health care providers by giving them resources to continue learning how to best serve all Coloradans, regardless of their sexual and gender identities. Inclusion is true democracy.”–Representative Alex Valdez (he/him), HD-5, House Co-Prime Sponsor 

“As a former ordained minister and progressive clergy in the ELCA, I often accompanied transgender members of our Northern Colorado congregation to healthcare and/or mental healthcare settings. On far too many occasions, I noted the challenges trans folks faced when it came to accessing necessary medical services. Supporting my community and parishioners in those moments is one of many reasons I now serve in the Colorado House of Representatives. I support HB22-1267 and continue my advocacy for greater healthcare access on behalf of all Coloradans who need culturally affirming healthcare from trained providers.”–Representative Andrew Boesenecker (he/him), HD-53, House Co-Prime Sponsor 

Specifically, the bill creates a $1 million grant program to fund the development of culturally relevant, affirming healthcare training programs for healthcare providers. Training programs will be created by approved nonprofits and will be available to all licensed, certified, or registered healthcare professionals. These training programs will focus on providing care to priority populations identified in the 2020 statewide Behavioral Health Needs Assessment, including but not limited to LGBTQ individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, individuals experiencing homelessness or insecure housing, and those with complex behavioral health needs. 

HB22-1267 was assigned to the House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee, and its hearing has been scheduled for March 15 at 1:30 pm. 

As the 2022 legislative session progresses, One Colorado will continue advocating for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families.