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LGBTQ Patient Advocacy through Community

  • There is an active and thriving LGBTQ community at Dana-Farber that includes patients, staff, and volunteers. This community is anchored by the Dana-Farber LGBT & Friends Employee Resource Group (ERG).

    The ERG's mission is to foster an inclusive and supportive environment at Dana-Farber for people across the spectrums of sexuality and gender, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.

    The Dana-Farber ERG works to fulfill its mission by:

    • Advocating for Dana-Farber LGBTQ patients – helping to define and monitor equity and equality for LGBTQ patients and their families
    • Promoting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as an ally for LGBTQ patients and families, as well as for Institute staff
    • Increasing internal awareness and visibility of the LGBTQ community at Dana-Farber
    • Supporting LGBTQ organizations and efforts within the Greater Boston health care community

    Any patient or member of the Dana-Farber community is welcome to reach out to the LGBT & Friends group for advice, support, or questions. Current co-chairs are Joanna Hamilton and Kelly Smith. To reach Joanna or Kelly, please email dfciask_LGBT@dfci.harvard.edu.

    For questions, concerns, or more information about patient care for the LGBTQ community at Dana-Farber, please contact the staff of Dana-Farber Patient/Family Relations at 617-632-3417 or email patientfamily_relations@dfci.harvard.edu. Our staff aims to provide help, sensitivity, and compassion to LGBTQ patients, their families, and loved ones.

    patient Tara

    Tara's Story

    Right from our first visit with my neuro-oncologist at Dana-Farber, my wife and I were welcomed and treated with dignity and compassion. We quickly felt reassured that our relationship was not only respected, but also deeply supported and identified as a valuable resource for me as I learn to live with my cancer diagnosis. The kindness and acceptance we've felt along the way extends beyond our direct care team and is truly embedded into the foundation of what Dana-Farber stands for. Whether we were asking for help at the information desks, looking to commemorate small victories at the gift shops, or paying for parking, I never felt I needed to add intolerance and discrimination to my list of worries when seeking cancer care at Dana Farber. I could not be more grateful to have access to such an innovative cancer center that is a leader in both research and people-centered care of the entire person. Thank you, Dana-Farber!

    — Tara