Pride Month Spotlight: Ian White, MD

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June marks LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and Overlake Medical Center & Clinics is pleased to once again recognize this annual observance as an ally to the many communities of people celebrating during this important time. In honor of this month and the year-round contributions of our LGBTQ+ team members, we spoke with colorectal surgeon, Ian White, MD, to hear his perspective on Pride.

Ian White, MD, Headshot

Q: What does Pride Month mean to you?

A: Pride to me is a time to both celebrate and reflect.

It's a moment to honor the achievements that the LGBTQIA+ community has made in its pursuit of social justice and equality. To be grateful for those who have come before and the struggles they endured, so that people like me can marry the people who we love and enjoy the rights and privileges everyone else enjoys.

At the same time, Pride is a meditation on the challenges that we as a community still face. Much has been achieved but much still remains to be done so that all members of our community can be lifted up equally.

Q: Why do you think it is important for healthcare organizations to recognize and celebrate Pride Month?

A: Celebrating Pride and what it stands for is a way for the healthcare system to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community, particularly in this current cultural moment when healthcare access to particular parts of the community is being actively restricted.

Pride Month should also be a catalyst for healthcare organizations to lift up and support marginalized communities all year long, not just during the month of June.

Q: How can healthcare leaders and organizations work toward creating a more accepting and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals?

A: Representation. Representation. Representation.

A critical step towards inclusion is representation. Having key stake holders within an organization that openly identify as LGBTQIA+ creates a permission structure for other employees to feel both safe and seen within their place of work.

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