John Clarke Senior Living this week announced that they have been certified as a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island LGBTQ Safe Zone. 

The certification comes after John Clarke staff and management received training from SAGE an advocacy agency for LGBTQ elders.   

“We are so honored to have been awarded this certification.  It is important to the John Clarke community that our residents and employees are treated with dignity and respect regardless of gender, gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” stated Joan M. Woods, CEO of John Clarke Senior Living in a statement. 

Certification requirements for BCBSRI LGBTQ Safe Zone include staff training specific to the care of LGBTQ patients, protection for patients and staff from discrimination based on gender identity or expression, gender neutral bathrooms, inclusive forms and procedures and public commitment to connecting with and serving the LGBT community. 

Hugh Hall, John Clarke Board Member, and LGBTQ supporter, strongly encouraged the senior living community to partner with SAGE and apply for the certification to become a designated safe zone.  “As a board member and LBTQ ally I am very proud of this accomplishment.  The staff went through the rigorous training and preparation necessary to achieve this recognition and to be ready to meet the needs of the elder LBTQ community.”

SAGE training was made possible through a grant provided by the van Buren Foundation. 

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.