On Monday (May 6), the City of New Orleans’ Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) debuted new badges for Pride Month and in support of the city’s LGBTQ+ residents.
“The City of New Orleans’ Emergency Medical Services embraces human dignity and diversity,” said NOEMS Public Information Officer Lt. Jonathan Forcade in a press release. “We also recognize the importance of consistently living those values. We have been challenged to do so, especially in the face of homophobia and transphobia.”
The unveiling comes five days after the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services announced a final version of a regulation that allows medical providers to deny care to patients on religious grounds. According to the HHS, the rule is intended to protect health care workers from unwanted involvement in services such as sterilization, abortion, or assisted suicide.
However, both civil and reproductive rights groups have spoken out against the rule, saying that it could jeopardize the health of women and transgender patients.
Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights issued a statement saying, “HHS’ final denial of care rule will substantially harm the health and well-being of many – in particular women and transgender patients. The government should protect all patients from discrimination, not make it easier for those in the health care system to discriminate.”
According to NOEMS, the new Pride badges represent their commitment to:
- Educate providers on LGBTQ+ emergency health conditions, healthcare disparities, and respectful practices
- Conduct LGBT+ related sensitivity training for all staff
- Develop nondiscrimination policies and protections that include gender identity and sexual orientation
- Develop transparent complaint-handling procedures that deal with concerns the same way regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ability
- Appoint an LGBTQ+ person to serve as a liaison between the community and NOEMS regarding LGBTQ+ matters; and,
- Work with local partners to ensure than LGBTQ+ patients have positive pre-hospital healthcare experiences in New Orleans.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.