Pride Month Spotlight: Jenn McAleer, Chief Compliance & Risk Officer

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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 Jenn McAleer, Chief Compliance & Risk Officer, to hear her perspective on Pride.

Jenn McAleer headshot

Q: What does Pride Month mean to you?

A: Pride Month is a critically important month to honor all those who have fought for the liberties that me and my family enjoy today—and to remind us all that the work is not yet done—in fact, in so many ways, the work is just as important now as it was 50 years ago. We must not become apathetic. So, we together, gratefully and joyfully, celebrate our pride this month, and all the months to come.

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

A: For healthcare organizations to see LGBTQ+ people as individuals with unique needs and sensitivities and embrace the community in a public showing celebrated during Pride Month by saying “we see you, we honor you, we stand with you…” is critical. I wouldn’t get healthcare in an organization that didn’t say that to me and my community.

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

A: The work that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council is doing is a great start. I think that having the commitment that Overlake has to doing the right thing for our patients and community is commendable. I do think that oftentimes the LGBTQ+ community gets left behind in some of the conversations however, and a more focused lens on how we can be the best place for members of this community to come work and come receive healthcare would be beneficial to everyone! Additionally, I would love a program where we ask questions and listen for the answers, about people’s LGBTQ+ status, in much the same way we ask about race and gender… and then learn from that data and create opportunities for both patients and employees resulting in meaningful change.

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