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Wednesday, July 6, 2022 81°F New York

VNSNY CHOICE Receives Platinum-Level LGBT Certification from SAGE!

VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans has been awarded Platinum-level certification by the LGBT advocacy group SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders). Platinum is SAGE’s highest certification level, indicating that 80 percent of CHOICE employees or more have successfully completed the SAGECare LGBT cultural sensitivity training program.

With SAGE’s announcement that CHOICE will receive Platinum designation, every part of VNSNY is now SAGE-credentialed at the Platinum level. “This is terrific news—I am so proud of the commitment of VNSNY staff!” says Marki Flannery, VNSNY’s President and CEO.

VNSNY CHOICE is the first  health plan serving all of New York City, Nassau, Westchester and upstate New York to receive SAGE Platinum credentials. The SAGECare training program covers topics such as LGBT elders health disparities, confidentiality, the need to avoid making assumptions about a client’s partnership or marital status, an overview of LGBT history, and the use of gender-appropriate terminology with transgender patients and clients.

“This Platinum designation establishes CHOICE as the preferred health plan for all LGBT New Yorkers,” notes Dr. Hany Abdelaal, President of VNSNY CHOICE. “This designation is especially timely since our SelectHealth plan, which was originally established to serve HIV-positive New Yorkers, recently expanded to include transgender individuals who are HIV-negative.”

Overall, adds Hany, “Our SAGE credential represents a promise to the LGBT community: that CHOICE, and VNSNY as a whole, are committed to providing a welcoming and respectful healthcare environment for all New Yorkers, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This certification underscores that VNSNY as an organization is prepared to manage and treat the entire community—and that we understand that ‘words matter.’”