By Paula R. Dearolf, Executive Vice President, Revenue Cycle Operations and Matthew Krauthamer, DO, Medical Director, Special Operations, TeamHealth Northeast Group
Pride Month occurs annually in June to recognize the influence and impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people around the world. The entire month is dedicated to the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and is used as a symbol to show support and inclusion. While the community has been represented by the first four letters of the acronym for over 30 years, in recent years there has been an increased mindfulness to offer better representation by including other sexual/gender identities and the + symbol was added to show inclusion and acceptance for everyone.
The History and Importance of Pride Month
The month of June was chosen for its significance in history. On June 28, 1969, police raided Stonewall, a popular gay bar in New York City, and interrogated the patrons, which sparked a week of violence and protests. The first Pride parade was organized a year later in June 1970. The New York Pride Parade is one of the largest and most well-known celebrations, attracting millions of people annually pre-pandemic.
People of the LGBTQ+ community today continue to face discrimination and the need still exists to fight for their basic human rights. Pride Month celebrations provide a voice for the community and are often celebrated with parades, concerts, workshops and memorials, and to peacefully recognize those lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The first U.S. president to recognize Pride Month was President Bill Clinton in 1999.
New LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group (ERG)
During this Pride Month, we are excited to announce the newly created TeamHealth LGBTQ+ employee resource group. We feel the establishment of this group will continue to foster inclusion, acceptance and equality while further demonstrating the commitment that TeamHealth has made to diversity, equity and inclusion.
We are privileged for the opportunity to co-chair this group and are grateful to our CEO, Leif Murphy, and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Stan Thompson, for their support and sponsorship as well as the executive support from Eric Norman, Chief Human Resources Officer and Jody Crane, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer. As we reflected on the purpose of this group and the value it can bring, we immediately thought of the quote by our founder Dr. Lynn Massingale, “Here at TeamHealth we are all colors, all ethnicities, all religions, all genders and all orientations. We are the America we serve. If you have ANY trouble with ANY of that, don’t come here to work.” We believe this statement is not only meaningful to clinicians and associates but also comforting to our patients who place their trust in us daily.
While we are grateful to be part of an organization that does not allow for the marginalization of, or discrimination against, the LGBTQ+ community, we believe we can do more with this employee resource group to provide support and education for all of our clinicians and associates. Therefore, the group is open to all TeamHealth associates who are members of the LGBTQ+ community as well as our allies. Currently, the committee is comprised of clinicians and associates representing both members of the community and allies.
TeamHealth Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Stay tuned for more Pride Month content coming soon. We welcome you to visit the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion web page to see the full work of the DEI Committee, including the Veterans Resource Group and Women in Leadership. For more stories from our associates, clinicians and the communities we serve, please subscribe to our blog.
Happy Pride Month!