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Joint Statement from Student Affairs and Student Health and Counseling Services: Changes to Health Care Protections for LGBTQ+ People

UC Davis Student Community,

Many of you may have seen the recent headlines regarding the removal of health care protections for the LGBTQ+ community at the federal level. While we celebrate today’s ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court affirming worker protections under federal civil rights laws for members of the LGBTQ+ community, other recent changes to federal policy have raised concerns about the health of transgender and non-binary communities nationally. We affirm our commitment to continuing to provide medical, counseling and community resources for our trans and non-binary students. 

Health and Counseling

Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) has a longstanding commitment to providing compassionate, high-quality and equitable care that honors each patient as an individual and meets their unique healthcare needs. Intersex, transgender, non-binary, agender and gender nonconforming students are vital and intrinsic to our campus community, and caring for the health and wellness needs of LGBTQIA+ students will continue to be a part of who we are and what we do. 

In recognition of our commitment, SHCS was named a 2019 “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. By earning a score of 100 on the foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), SHCS is one of only three student health centers in the country so recognized, and the only one in the UC system. As part of attaining Leader status, SHCS implemented new measures, such as an annual survey of LGBTQIA+ students regarding their health priorities and healthcare experiences. They also created the SHCS’ LGBTQIA+ Task Force, which comprises staff members and is tasked with increasing SHCS’ capacity to serve queer and trans students. 

The SHCS Patient Rights and Responsibilities protect students on the basis of gender identity. SHCS offers a Gender Care Team that is trained in providing medical and mental healthcare for our students and a dedicated LGBTQIA+ health resources webpage—We Thrive: Elevating Queer and Trans Community Health

Community Engagement and Support

The LGBTQIA Resource Center is another campus resource for students and promotes education, as well as space for self-exploration, about all genders and sexualities and their intersections with other identities. The center is operating remotely and offers a variety of health and wellness resources as well, including a dedicated Community Advising Network counselor through a partnership with SHCS and support groups and hotlines. 

We believe every student, inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, background and insurance status, deserves the best quality health care as well as inclusive and welcoming community spaces. We will continue to make those available to everyone, even after these recent changes in federal policy announced last week, and before today’s SCOTUS ruling, which may ultimately render earlier federal policy announcements moot.

Emily Galindo
Interim Vice Chancellor
Student Affairs 

Margaret Walter
Executive Director
Student Health and Counseling Services