January 26, 2021

For Public Health Management Corporation
Emily Charles, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment Findings Released
Assessment is one of the largest sources of statewide LGBTQ health data in the country

PHILADELPHIAThe Research & Evaluation Group at Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center released the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment report. The 2020 Assessment is the largest source of LGBTQ health data in the state and one of the largest LGBTQ needs assessments in the country.

Conducted biannually, the findings present a comprehensive assessment of the health and wellness needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer+ individuals throughout the state. More than 6,500 LGBTQ-identified Pennsylvanians from across 64 counties participated in the online English/Spanish survey, with topics addressing financial security, health habits, vaccinations, exercise, nutrition and food access. Other topics were added and expanded this year, including sexual health, interactions with health care providers and barriers to care.

“The 2020 LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment provides a robust dataset and rich feedback from an underrepresented community,” said Lisa Bond, Managing Director, Research & Evaluation Group at PHMC. “The important findings will help inform health care providers, community-based organizations and policy makers to improve program planning, policies and better prioritize the health needs of LGBTQ individuals in Pennsylvania.”

Key findings include:

  • Four in ten respondents experience at least one barrier to health care (41%).
  • In their lifetime, more than six in ten respondents have experienced discrimination based on their LGBTQ status (61%).
  • Three in ten sometimes or often worry their food will run out before they had money to buy more (30%).
  • More than two in ten respondents have experienced homelessness in their lifetime (21%).
  • Seven in ten respondents have experienced a mental health challenge in the past year (73%).
  • More than half of respondents (56%) said they have considered suicide at some point in their lives.
  • About half of respondents ages 18 and older report having used cigarettes at some point in their lives (51%). A quarter of respondents ages 18 and older have used e-cigarettes at some point in their lives (26%).
  • Almost four in ten respondents have experienced violence from a family member, partner or spouse (37%).

“After three cycles of data collection, Pennsylvania now has the most comprehensive state-level LGBTQ health data in any state,” said Adrian Shanker, executive director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. “Now, it’s our responsibility as advocates to utilize the data to improve the health of our community.”

Historically, LGBTQ communities have not been counted in large data systems, limiting widely shared information about this population’s health and wellness needs. In 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Health partnered with Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center to broadly administer what is now the Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment. The Needs Assessment was piloted as six regional assessments in 2015 and 2016 and re-administered with a single statewide sample in 2018.

For more information or to view the 2020 Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment, please visit the Live Healthy PA website.

About Public Health Management Corporation
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices and evidence-based guidelines to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC’s Research & Evaluation Group (R&E) is dedicated to helping clients understand their communities, improve their programming, and strengthen their impact by offering a range of methods and technologies to meet the needs of a shifting public health landscape. The R&E Group also conducts the Household Health Survey, the largest and most in-depth local survey in the country. To learn more, visit