Rogers Behavioral Health, Oconomowoc, 2021 Community Benefit

Rogers Works to Create an Inclusive, Safe Environment for Transgender, Non-Binary Patients

Rogers' patients' chosen names and personal pronouns are entered into the electronic health record at time of admission.
The LGBTQIA+ community is especially vulnerable to adverse mental health outcomes. For instance, 40% of trans people have attempted suicide in their lifetime compared to 4.6% of the general U.S. population. 
Misgendering and deadnaming (using a person’s birth name instead of their chosen name) can contribute to an unsafe and alienating environment for the population.
With that reality, Rogers Behavioral Health is working to ensure inclusivity through several new initiatives, including the collection of chosen name, pronouns, gender identity, and sex assigned at birth. Captured in the electronic health record at admission, patients’ chosen names and personal pronouns are easily available to the treatment teams. 
“The idea is that everyone who comes into contact with the patient knows the correct name and pronouns and addresses our patients in an affirming way,” said Karen Nelson, director, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. 
This simple act of respect can reduce depression for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In fact, according to a University of Texas at Austin study, when a transgender youth’s chosen name is used at school, work, or home, it reduces depressive symptoms by 71 percent, thoughts of suicide by 34 percent, and suicide completions by 65 percent. 
Rogers has trained more than 100 admissions employees on how to ask for the information, and it launched an Identity 101 training for all team members to introduce the terminology, concepts, and issues that can often face LGBTQIA+ employees and patients.