Eko Celebrates Pride & LGBTQ+ Visibility in Healthcare

Summary: Pride Month is a time for Eko to celebrate progress in LGBTQ+ rights while reaffirming our commitment to addressing some of the most pressing issues and healthcare disparities that still need attention.
Clinician with stethoscope wears rainbow Pride bracelet
"While we celebrate progress each Pride Month, as a healthcare organization it's critical that we also use our platform to bring attention to the unique disparities that continue to impact the LGBTQ+ community.

For the Eko team, Pride Month is a particularly special time of year. It's a time to celebrate the work of trailblazers like Harvey Milk and Edith Windsor, who fought valiantly to advance equal rights for the queer community. It's also a stark reminder of how far we still have to go.

"While we celebrate progress each Pride Month, as a healthcare organization it's critical that we also use our platform to bring attention to the unique disparities that continue to impact the LGBTQ+ community," says Eko Co-Founder Jason Bellet, who is proud to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Addressing LCBTQ+ health disparities

The LGBTQ+ community faces significant health disparities linked to stigma and discrimination. These are exacerbated by barriers to accessing care and the need for more training around providing LGBTQ+ competent care.

Here are just a few disparities impacting the LGBTQ+ community:

  • Mental health crisis: LGBTQ+ youth are particularly vulnerable, with 45% having seriously considered attempting suicide in 2023. Additionally, 73% reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety, and 58% reported symptoms of depression. Many LGBTQ+ youth who wanted mental health care were unable to access it​.
  • Higher rates of health issues: LGBTQ+ individuals face higher rates of substance use, sexually transmitted infections, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, bullying, isolation, rejection, anxiety, and depression compared to the general population.
  • Discrimination in healthcare: More than half of LGBTQ+ adults have experienced discrimination from a healthcare professional. This leads to delayed medical care and reluctance to seek necessary treatments.
  • Preventive care and screenings: LGBT+ individuals report lower rates of preventive services, such as gynecological exams among lesbians and HIV testing among transgender individuals. The lack of culturally competent care often results in poorer health outcomes for these communities​​.

Eko believes that increasing awareness around these unique challenges and inequities will help gain the necessary traction for change. We're proud to work with many clinicians, hospitals, and health systems who share our perspective.

Asia Sullivan, PA-C wears the CORE 500™ Digital Stethoscope
Eko regularly works with providers like Asia Sullivan, PA-C, who advocate for inclusive LGBTQ+ healthcare.

"Through their open arms and commitment to inclusion, many of our customers are working tirelessly to help close these gaps, such as assisting transgender patients secure gender-affirming care, helping queer teenagers navigate mental health challenges, prescribing life-saving prophylaxis like PrEP, and enabling patients living with HIV/AIDS to have longer and fuller lives," says Bellet.

Eko's commitment to the LGBTQ+ community

The Eko team is dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ healthcare providers and their patients throughout the year. Eko donates to LGBTQ+ organizations each year such as the Trevor Project, the Trans Formations Project, WayOUT, and OutCare so they can continue their lifesaving and life-changing work.

We also regularly highlight healthcare providers who help create inclusive practices for LGBTQ+ patients.

Eko is committed to actively fostering community and visibility within the healthcare sector. We've sponsored the American College of Cardiology LGBTQ+ Happy Hour for the past few years, ensuring that the queer community has a space to come together, meet one another, and exchange ideas. We proudly sponsored the very first happy hour and are proud to continue to support it.

From the entire team at Eko, Happy Pride! We're honored to stand with you in the fight for a more equitable society.