Skip to Main Content

Welcome to

Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.

Learn More
Blog Community

St. Jude Cares About LGBTQ Patients

Being treated for a serious illness can be scary and confusing. At St. Jude, we want every patient to feel as safe as possible. One way we do this is by treating everyone with dignity and respect.

Our goal is to provide care that supports each person’s gender. St. Jude does not discriminate against you, your family, companions, or visitors based on sexual orientation, gender identity, identification as LGBTQ, or any sexual stereotype.

To make sure you receive quality care at St. Jude, you should feel comfortable telling the staff about your sexual orientation and gender identity. It is your choice whether to share information on sexual orientation and gender identity with St. Jude staff. If you give us information on sexual orientation and gender identity, St. Jude staff will not discriminate against you because of it, and it will remain confidential with our staff.

This page explains how St. Jude keeps and uses information on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also answers some other questions from patients and families.

What LGBTQ means

LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning. These 5 terms do not describe every sexual orientation and gender identity. But the St. Jude policy against discrimination protects people of every orientation and identity.

St. Jude does not require anyone to share information about sexual orientation or gender identity. But this information can help your St. Jude team give better care. For example, information on sexual history helps your team know what screening tests you need. Knowing your gender identity helps St. Jude staff use your preferred name and pronouns, such as “he,” “she,” or “they.”

St. Jude will be sure the care team uses the name and pronoun you prefer. This can be your legal name or another name. But you should know that St. Jude staff might need to check your legal name sometimes. For example, they might need to be sure you are the person listed on legal or medical records such as your birth certificate.

What St. Jude does with shared information

The table below shows how we keep and use information in certain situations. It also tells you how we honor your wishes. If you have questions about other situations, please ask.

If you... St. Jude will...
Tell us that you only want to share information on gender identity and sexual orientation with providers you choose. Honor your wishes. Please tell the people you share with to keep this information private. You can choose if you want to share this information with any health care providers. But we do ask you to remind the provider to keep the information private.
Tell us that you do not want information on gender identity and sexual orientation in your St. Jude medical record. Honor your wishes. You can choose if you want to share this information with any health care providers.
Tell us that you want information on gender identity in your St. Jude medical record. List your information in the “Gender Identity” section of your medical record. Other people may see your medical record. This includes your parents if you are under 18. 
Tell us that you want information on sexual orientation in your St. Jude medical record. List your information in the “History” section of your medical record. Other people may see your medical record. This includes your parents if you are under 18. 
Tell us that you want your preferred name and pronoun in your St. Jude medical record. List your preferred name and pronoun in your medical record. You can change this in person or call Patient Registration at 901-595-2010.

If you change your gender identity while you are a St. Jude patient, you may tell your caregivers, but you do not have to. You may tell certain providers and not others. You can also ask providers not to share the information. Please read the section below on who can see your information.

Who can see your information

You need to know that if your gender identity or sexual orientation is in your medical record, some people and groups may see it. This includes people and groups with legal access to your records. Some of these are:

  • St. Jude doctors and nurses and other staff
  • Your parents or legal guardians, if you are under 18 (or if you are over 18 and you give them authority)
  • Insurance companies – now and in the future
  • People or groups the law or a court order says may see your records
  • Organizations that make rules for hospitals, including the U.S. government
  • Anyone you give written permission to see your records (You usually give this type of permission on a form called a HIPAA form or authorization form.)

How to share your information

You can ask any member of your St. Jude team to call you by the name and pronoun you prefer.

  • Patient Registration asks new patients what name they prefer. So when you register, you may share your gender identity if you want.
  • But you may also share information on gender identity or sexual orientation any time, with anyone on the St. Jude team.
  • We can put this information in your medical record if you ask.
  • You can also ask any team member to keep the information private.

Discrimination

If you think someone has discriminated against you, please talk to a member of your St. Jude team or the nursing coordinator. You can also ask the Patient Relations coordinator or another member of the staff to help you.

If you want to file a formal grievance, you can contact the Patient Relations coordinator for St. Jude.

Mailing address:

Patient Relations Coordinator
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Phone: 1-901-595-8383, 1-866-278-5833, or 1-901-595-1040
Fax: 1-901-595-8600
Email: PatientRelationsCoordinator@stjude.org

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights. You can file online through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at https://ocrportal.hhs.gov/ocr/portal/lobby.jsf. You can also file by mail or phone. You can get complaint forms at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/filing-with-ocr/index.html.

Mailing address:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 509F
HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
Phone: 1-800-368-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD)

Key Points

  • St. Jude does not discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, identification as LGBTQ, or any sex stereotype.
  • St. Jude does not require anyone to share information about sexual orientation or gender identity. But this information can help your St. Jude team give better care.
  • St. Jude will make sure the team uses the name and pronoun you prefer.
  • If your gender identity or sexual orientation is in your medical record, some people and groups may see it.


Reviewed: August 2022