National Coming Out Day, observed each year on October 11, is a day to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), or as an ally. Brigham Health’s LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group celebrated National Coming Out Day this year with a keynote address by Sam Chambers, LGBT Liaison to Mayor Marty Walsh. The festivities also included the presentation of the 2017 LGBT Leadership Awards. Among the recipients was Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Vice President of Professional and Clinical Services Edward Liston-Kraft, PhD.
BWFH President and Co-Executive Sponsor of the Brigham Health LGBT & Allies Employee Resource Group Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, presented Liston-Kraft with his award. He said, “It’s great to celebrate the work of our LGBT & Allies Resource Group. Today is an especially thrilling day for me because I have the opportunity to honor a long-standing member of our community.”
Dr. Gustafson then read from Liston-Kraft’s LGBT Leadership Award nomination letter:
This nomination is submitted with input from multiple individuals across the institution who have seen over many, many years how much Ed has done on behalf of the entire LGBT healthcare community. Since the early 1990s, Ed has been instrumental in supporting ongoing education to heighten awareness of LGBT issues. He specifically has facilitated leadership attendance at outside conferences focused on LGBT best practices, has connected the BWFH community to the nationally recognized Fenway Health and brought nationally renowned speakers to BWFH to raise awareness of LGBT issues. Through Ed’s leadership, members of the hospital staff at all levels have been afforded the opportunity to learn and expand their understanding through access to programing, including Management Grand Rounds, Medical Grand Rounds, Schwartz Rounds and various presentations at leadership meetings. Additionally, Ed founded and provided executive sponsorship to BWFH’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee and is an active champion for its ongoing initiatives. Ed’s leadership allowed BWFH to be one of the earliest Partners institutions to participate in the Human Rights Campaign’s Healthcare Equality Index. And he’s ensured ever since that we operate at a level designated by HRC as a leader in LGBT issues. He also championed inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in our Patient Rights and Responsibilities policy before it was required. He additionally championed a great many initiatives for important patient issues such as gender neutral bathrooms and ensuring, through formal education, that all staff have the education and tools to interface with patients in a culturally competent manner. Ed has a unique ability to use narrative to build empathy that inspires and encourages a high bar for respectful and caring interactions toward all patients and among staff. Ed has done all of this with endless grace, compassion, warmth and humor.
“This award is a great honor,” says Liston-Kraft. “I have always deeply appreciated the culture of diversity and inclusivity that exists throughout Brigham Health. There is a tremendous awareness of the value of recognizing and respecting differences among our staff and patients. It’s been a fantastic place to work for thirty-two years.”
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