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National health conference set for U.S. capital
Out & Healthy presented by AETNA

by Colleen Dermoody

At the National Health Conference and Expo, LGBT participants will benefit from on-site health screenings and diagnostics.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced April 9 the first-annual Out & Healthy National LGBT Health Conference and Expo, presented by Aetna. This Conference and Expo will offer data, case studies and dialog on the future of health care delivery to, and business opportunities in, the LGBT communities. The Conference and Expo will be held on Nov. 2-3 in Washington, D.C. on the eve of the 2007 NGLCC National Dinner and Awards Ceremony. The NGLCC and HRC will jointly host Out & Healthy.

At the National Health Conference and Expo, LGBT participants will benefit from on-site health screenings and diagnostics, along with an unprecedented amount of health information and health employment-opportunities listings. Using the NGLCC’s market-based philosophy, the Conference and Expo will identify gaps in LGBT health care needs and the provision of services by the mainstream health care system. The Conference and Expo will also provide an opportunity for companies to learn about primary health issues in the LGBT segment and solutions to fill the gaps.

“At the NGLCC, we know that many of the health care needs of American LGBT employees are not being addressed in the current health care delivery system,” said Justin G. Nelson, NGLCC co-founder and president. “The NGLCC and HRC want to raise the bar for the provision of health care services to LGBT people across the country.”

“Aetna is proud to be aligned with this much-needed LGBT health gathering,” said Mark Bertolini, executive vice president and head of Aetna Regional Businesses (ARB).  “As one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, we want to make clear our commitment to all small businesses — including those owned and operated by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Additionally, we are glad to work with NGLCC and HRC to learn ways we can better address the unique needs of the LGBT community.”

“Due to incomplete and often inadequate state laws, differing hospital policies and widely varying health care provider knowledge about LGBT health concerns, there are many challenges to guaranteeing appropriate and equal health treatment for LGBT people,” said Ellen Kahn, director of HRC’s Family Project. “Our aim is to encourage the adoption of standards that promote quality and reduce discrimination in all health care delivery systems.”
With a series of roundtables, symposia, focus groups, and keynote speakers, the Conference will explore the current state and future goals of health care for LGBT people. The conference will aim a spotlight on health care issues that run the gamut from the provision of services to insurance coverage to assisted reproduction to retirement.

Topics for the Conference and Expo will include:

• Health insurance for small business and individual coverage
• LGBT services within the framework of group health plans
• Beyond HIV and AIDS – reviewing the needs of an aging LGBT population
• Long term health care
• LGBT senior housing and opportunities for community development
• Assisted living and continuous care for LGBT people
• Developing appropriate pharmaceuticals to meet LGBT needs
• Lesbian health
• Assisted reproduction
• Mental health concerns
• LGBT health and wellness
• Careers in health care
• Credentialing or certifying LGBT friendly health-care providers.

About the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the largest LGBT business development and economic advocacy organization in the world. The NGLCC represents the interests of more than 800,000 LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs and is committed to forming a broad-based coalition of LGBT owned and friendly businesses, professionals, and students of business for the purpose of promoting economic growth and the prosperity of its members.

About the Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

About Aetna

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.9 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life, long-term care and disability plans, and medical management capabilities. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans and government-sponsored plans.

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