Mayor Rahm Emanuel Has a Plan to Make LGBT Residents Healthier

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com April 01 2012 8:59 AM ET

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a plan for improving the health of LGBT residents that some city leaders say should be a model for the nation.

The Chicago Department of Public Health released a 22-point plan, according to the Windy City Times, that focuses on areas where the LGBT community is affected more so than the mainstream, including higher levels of smoking. A linchpin of the plan is its call for healthcare providers to ask about patients' sexual orientation and record the information so that more can be learned in the aggregate about areas of need.

“What we are doing in Chicago could be a model for the entire nation,” the Chicago Phoenix reports that Alderman Tom Tunney, who is gay, said in response to the program.

The plan also considers bullying in schools and hate crimes as health risks, and it specifically targets violence against transgender residents.

“Chicago’s strength is in the diversity of its communities,” said Emanuel, according to Phoenix. “And I am committed to ensuring that Chicagoans have access to the care and information they need to live healthy lives and contribute fully to the vibrancy of our city.”