Stony Brook Medicine
Survey Summary

A Message from the Executive Vice President, Health Sciences, and CEO, Stony Brook University Medicine

Stony Brook Medicine is pleased to release summary results of the first-ever health needs survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ*) adults in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. This comprehensive survey was conducted in 2021 by Stony Brook Medicine in collaboration with over 30 partners.

This survey is the first comprehensive health needs assessment of the LGBTQ* population on Long Island, filling a gap of knowledge where no quantitative data specific to our region was available. This lack of data made it more challenging to reduce LGBTQ* health disparities. The survey’s result will help ensure we offer the most needed responsive clinical and social services for this community.

Results were striking in several areas. For example, more than 60 percent of respondents reported symptoms of chronic depression; almost half reported poor mental health and/or anxiety, and more than a third had thoughts of self-harm. Despite this, only slightly more than a third are receiving mental health treatment.

In general, access to healthcare was revealed as a frequent problem. Almost a quarter of respondents indicated that travel time or distance made it more difficult to see a provider. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported being treated disrespectfully or in a non-affirming way by a healthcare provider or their office staff. More than 16 percent frequently face racial or ethnic discrimination in healthcare. Respondents indicated a strong interest in an LGBTQ+ health center and participating in telehealth visits with a sensitive provider. The summary of the findings is insightful, and I encourage you to review this informative and valuable report.

Survey results are based on 1,150 completed and validated surveys received during the four-month fielding period between June and September 2021, an excellent response rate for a study of this type. The survey instrument drew from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and several other validated and widely used public health surveys. It was similar in content to the Community Health Needs Assessments of the general Suffolk County population conducted by Stony Brook Medicine in 2014 and 2018 but was customized to include additional topics relevant to the LGBTQ* population. Throughout the development process, the survey team met regularly with partners and convened community focus groups to ensure that the most critical areas were addressed and that wording was clear and appropriate.

On behalf of Stony Brook Medicine, I extend my deepest gratitude to all partners who made this survey possible through their expertise and enthusiasm. Partners include healthcare providers; social service providers; LGBTQ* advocacy organizations; public health organizations; county government officials (legislators, DOH); immigrant and refugee welfare organizations; advocacy groups supporting victims of violence; colleges and university administrators and students; advocates; artists; entertainers; and businesses. Every partner brought a unique perspective to this endeavor during each phase of the process. All took part in informing the LGBTQ* community about the survey and the importance of participation. We will continue to nurture these partnerships in the future as we work together to promote the well-being of LGBTQ* people on Long Island.

Be well,


Harold L. Paz, MD, MS
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Chief Executive Officer, Stony Brook University Medicine

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