LGBTQ+ Healthcare @ MSK

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you shouldn’t have to worry whether you or your loved ones will be treated with respect during your care. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we take the concerns of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities very seriously and work hard to create an environment in which everyone who walks through our doors feels welcome.

LGBTQ+ people treated at MSK can expect culturally sensitive, medically competent care from all of our healthcare practitioners. Read our nondiscrimination statement and visitor policy.

Chasity Walters, Director of Patient and Caregiver Engagement, is an advocate for our transgender patients and is specifically trained to respond to concerns affecting the transgender community. She is a valuable resource for MSK patients and caregivers who have questions or concerns about the healthcare needs of trans individuals. Please contact our staff for more information.

HRC Recognition

Since 2013, Memorial Sloan Kettering has been recognized as a leader in the LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) compiled by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The HEI is regarded as the national benchmarking tool for hospitals and healthcare institutions and their practices relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer patients and employees.

Organizations are evaluated based on five core criteria:

  • nondiscrimination and staff training
  • patient services and support
  • employee benefits and policies
  • patient and community engagement
  • responsible citizenship

MSK is proud to once again receive this distinction. Learn more about the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index.

For more information about LGBTQ+ support at MSK, email lgbtpride@mskcc.org.

Patient Resources

Cancer can affect anyone, but LGBTQ+ people have unique risk factors. Throughout the treatment continuum of care, and at all MSK treatment sites, oncology social workers are available to assist all LGBTQ patients, their families and friends with any issues they may be having. The Department of Social Work can connect you with the appropriate staff by calling this number- 212-639-7020. The links below can help you make more informed decisions about your health.

For specific questions about your care as a transgender patient at MSK, you may reach out to the Trans Patient Advocate at lgbtpride@mskcc.org.

Resources for Healthcare Providers

MSK faculty are leaders in training and educating healthcare professionals about LGBTQ+ issues.

Publications

Jack E. Burkhalter, Liz Margolies, Hrafn Oli Sigurdsson et al. (2016) The National LGBT Cancer Action Plan: A White Paper of the 2014 National Summit on Cancer in the LGBT Communities. LGBT Health. Volume 3, Number 1.

Nelson Sanchez (2016). Coming out for better care: Improving cancer treatment for LGBT patients. HemOnc Today. Oct. 10.

Tollinche, L. E., Walters, C. B., Radix, A., Long, M., Galante, L., Goldstein, Z., Kapinos, Y., and Yeoh, C. (2018). The Perioperative Care of the Transgender Patient. Anesthesia and Analgesia, 127(2).

Banerjee, S. C., Walters, C. B., Staley, J. M., Alexander, K., and Parker, P. A. (2018). Knowledge, Beliefs, and Communication Behavior of Oncology Health-care Providers (HCPs) regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Patient Health care. Journal of Health Communication, 23(4), 329-339.

Banerjee, S. C., Staley, J. M., Alexander, K., Walters, C. B., and Parker, P. A. (2018). Encouraging patients to disclose their lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) status: oncology health care providers’ perspectives. Translational Behavioral Medicine.

Damaskos, P., Amaya, B., Gordon, R., and Walters, C. B. (2018). Intersectionality and the LGBT cancer patient. In Seminars in Oncology Nursing. WB Saunders.

Safe Zone Training Videos for Physicians